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The Media Facebook Social Networks Politics

Are We Seeing Propaganda About Russian Propaganda? (rollingstone.com) 335

MyFirstNameIsPaul was one of several readers who spotted this disturbing instance of fake news about fake news. An anonymous reader writes: Last week the Washington Post described "independent researchers" who'd identified "more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda" that they estimated were viewed more than 200 million times on Facebook. But the researchers insisted on remaining anonymous "to avoid being targeted by Russia's legions of skilled hackers," and when criticized on Twitter, responded "Awww, wook at all the angwy Putinists, trying to change the subject -- they're so vewwy angwy!!"

The group "seems to have been in existence for just a few months," writes Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi, calling the Post's article an "astonishingly lazy report". (Chris Hedges, who once worked on a Pulitzer Prize-winning team at the New York Times, even found his site Truthdig on the group's dubious list of over 200 "sites that reliably echo Russian propaganda," along with other long-standing sites like Zero Hedge, Naked Capitalism, and the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.) "By overplaying the influence of Russia's disinformation campaign, the report also plays directly into the hands of the Russian propagandists that it hopes to combat," complains Adrian Chen, who in 2015 documented real Russian propaganda efforts which he traced to "a building in St. Petersburg where hundreds of young Russians worked to churn out propaganda."

The Post's article was picked up by other major news outlets (including USA Today), and included an ominous warning that "The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on 'fake news'."
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Are We Seeing Propaganda About Russian Propaganda?

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  • Yes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's funny when the Right screams voter fraud, the left calls them all stupid because they have no evidence.

    When he Left screams voter fraud from Russian hackers that they have zero evidence of, we have to waste millions of taxer payer money with lawsuits and recounts.

    • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Unknown User ( 4795349 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:09PM (#53420539)
      Right vs. left, just stop that nonsense. There has been no right and no left for at least a decade. The divide is between extremists and people who stand with both feet on the ground. Unfortunately, it looks like extremism has become more popular.
      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:46PM (#53420761) Journal

        Actually it's anti-establishment nationalists vs. establishment globalists.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Darinbob ( 1142669 )

          Not anti-establishment, but those who want to establish their own establishment.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          I think you no longer have the right to call yourself "anti-establishment" when your man is about to be POTUS and his party will have majorities in the House and Senate.

          • Eh. "The establishment" is the corporate/government/media complex. The corporations pick the policies, their bought politicians enact them, and then their media networks propagandize the populace as to why things that are clearly not in their best interest, like the mass importation of semi-retarded 3rd worlders for cheap labor for the corps, is actually right and moral and good and anyone who disagrees is stupid and evil. Anyone who's opposed to that system can still call themselves "anti-establishment."

      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @02:02PM (#53420851) Homepage Journal
        Right vs. left, just stop that nonsense. There has been no right and no left for at least a decade. The divide is between extremists and people who stand with both feet on the ground. Unfortunately, it looks like extremism has become more popular.

        I'm not sure I agree with you completely. I agree that extremism is more easily found, I'm not sure if that's because it's more popular or if it's simply because more individuals are willing to express it.
        I do believe that both the right and the left engage in logical facilities (you should pardon the pun) left and right. A few examples:

        Death penalty and abortion

        Reducing taxes and budgets passed

        Objecting to "nanny state" (vis a vi public support) by calling it racism, bemoaning food assistance while cutting access to birth control (Family Planning funding)

        Loss of constitutional freedoms vs. gun legislation vs. disenfranchisement

        Effectively limiting consumer protections (by Strengthening monopolies) while claiming to be pro-consumer

        Preventing private right of action and forcing consumers to use binding arbitration (Might as well not even bother, you're not going to win even if you are right)

        and on and on and on. I think the average US person has simply either gone nuckin' futz or they are lied to so completely and pervasively as to have no worthwhile information to base a rational decision on. It's so bad that I don't even bother talking to people anymore (haven't for the last 20 years). It's so bad that I am seriously limiting even discussion in fora such as here. Worse, it's no better in other countries, and even worse in some.

        I blame it on the commercialization of journalism, actions by special interests, and the lack of critical thinking skills being taught in public (and many private) education. The only answer I've found so far is to simply smile, nod, and back slowly away from the more vitriolic of them, and to not bother with media news outlets anymore.

        NPR, PBS, BBC and a few others are attempting to get people talking to each other. So far, I've witnessed this devolve into brutal beatings twice. Yeah. Like I'm going to go "have a reasonable discussion with someone I don't agree with".

        • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @05:17PM (#53421757)

          Like I'm going to go "have a reasonable discussion with someone I don't agree with".

          How would anyone know whether they disagreed with you? A "reasonable discussion" requires explanations of your thoughts. A list of half-articulated observations isn't something people can "reasonably" discuss.

          I'm sure some people will react and emote with you though. And congratulate themselves for being righteous because ... well, mostly because they enjoy thinking they're righteous and better than other people.

        • I totally agree with you. I've actually more or less given up on public forums except for hackernews and a bit of reddit surfing (but not discussing). This is just another throwaway Google account after I deleted several /. accounts, all with excellent karma; I'm coming here less and less often, because the discussions have become too vitriolic - and I'm saying that as a Usenet veteran.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zapadnik ( 2965889 )

        Not really.
        The Left is all about Big State solutions, which comes under the rubrik of "Statist Collectiivism" at the state level and "globalism" at the international level.
        The Right (at least in the US, but increasingly internationally) is all about Individual Liberty. Since there can be no Individual Liberty without decreasing State power it means the Right is about limiting the power of government and letting citizens and the Free Market of voluntary exchange work out solutions. This is because power

        • The Left is all about Big State solutions, which comes under the rubrik of "Statist Collectiivism" at the state level and "globalism" at the international level.
          The Right (at least in the US, but increasingly internationally) is all about Individual Liberty. Since there can be no Individual Liberty without decreasing State power it means the Right is about limiting the power of government and letting citizens and the Free Market of voluntary exchange work out solutions. This is because power (the ability to enforce your will on the unwilling) is a zero sum game - the State only gets power by taking it from individuals, and vice versa

          I find this to be a weird narrative, although very common in the US it seems. What if the State wrestles power from corporations and other supranational or transnational entities? E.g., let's say the State takes over the healthcare industry and cleans it up big time, slashes costs dramatically, gets closer to universal coverage (like, you can get Medicaid if you earn under $200k, I don't know, that's an example).
          I would say this gives more power both to the State and the individuals. (there's always more su

        • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kirth ( 183 ) on Monday December 05, 2016 @09:33AM (#53424671) Homepage

          I think you're pretty much right in regards of the analysis what is happening, but you've subscribed to some propaganda on who is doing what. Because the forces at play in the US are first and foremost authoritarian and to the right (the latter of which doesn't really matter in the scheme of things).

          I think this here shows this neatly:
          https://www.politicalcompass.o... [politicalcompass.org]

          "left" and "right" are solely economic points of view. You could also call them "socialist" and "capitalist". There's nothing in there about "liberty".

          If you think there is some great conflict between "authoritarian" and "libertarian" at play there (or even "the Left" or "the Right" are on the side of "liberty"), you've just become the playball of propaganda. Because the only side here that's even playing is authoritarian, and it has won, it sets the policies, and orchestrates the propaganda. Of course it's nice to be able to constantly blame "the other side" for the shit you're doing. Which is what happens. Even if the other side happens to be firmly in your own camp.

          Yes, there are people in the US fighting for liberty, but they're not "the Left" or "the Right", they're the ones that don't run your country. At all.

      • Extremeism lost (Score:3, Informative)

        by SuperKendall ( 25149 )

        Unfortunately, it looks like extremism has become more popular.

        Not from where I'm sitting. From everything Trump has said and done after the election, he's actually been quite reasonable - it's Clinton supporters that have gone insane, and during the election were pulling every dirty trick possible to win. Reasonableness triumphed over extremism for once, I'm hoping it's the start of a trend.

      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @03:09PM (#53421167)

        Ahh yes. "My side is sensible. The other side is extreme/insane/[insert slur here]." That's some well-reasoned analysis there.

        Does your side actually do things to help the people whose votes you want? Maybe telling them to vote for you because you helped them might work better than telling them to vote for you because otherwise you'll call them names.

      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @03:19PM (#53421225)

        The biggest sign of extremism for me is when someone takes a stand and declares their side to be the right one and the other side to be the wrong one. Loyalty to a party of faction should come dead last in priorities, Put loyalty to fellow citizens first, even if they have different political stances.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The best part is so far the Wisconsin recount has found a few examples of fraudulent votes - all of them for Hillary. Her vote count is now down by something like 15 in WI.

    • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @02:23PM (#53420935) Journal

      Three and a half years ago the US government, under the Obama administration, let the ban on propagandizing US citizens expire - and immediately began writing and spreading "fake news".

      From an FP article dated July 14, 2013 [foreignpolicy.com]:

      U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans

      For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. governmentâ(TM)s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.

      So the only thing new here is US citizens noticed one of the government's renewed, official, domestic propaganda operations.

      • by vel-ex-tech ( 4337079 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @03:34PM (#53421303)

        Maybe I'm dense, but isn't it Congress' job to renew laws that have expiry dates? I skimmed the article but it didn't seem to clarify what I'm confused about. Is it the case that the R team did their right honorable duty as true statesmen to renew that law and Obama failed to sign it? The R team did have a majority in at least one branch of Congress in 2013, didn't they? My memory is hazy.

        I mean, good grief. The president isn't a dictator. That's also why I'm not very worried at all about Trump! Trump! Trump! or even Darth Pence.

        Also a good reason to have contempt for the D team when it had control of both houses of Congress 2008-2010. They could have passed something less corrupt than Obamneycare.

    • by Ranger ( 1783 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @02:57PM (#53421123) Homepage

      It's funny when the Right screams voter fraud, the left calls them all stupid because they have no evidence.

      When he Left screams voter fraud from Russian hackers that they have zero evidence of, we have to waste millions of taxer payer money with lawsuits and recounts.

      There is a difference between voter fraud and election fraud. Voter fraud is when an individual is able to cast a vote they are not supposed to. So far there has only been 4 cases of actual voter fraud this election. Election fraud is on a massive scale where hundreds or thousands of votes are changed or suppressed. It is easier to change the outcome of an election with a rigged election. Republicans falsely claim that voter fraud is a massive problem, so when they control state legislatures, they gerrymander districts and pass onerous voter ID laws that make it difficult or impossible for people who don't generally vote Republican (usually people of color) to vote (they don't need Russian hackers). This is a form of election fraud (but legal). Other forms of election fraud are tampered with ballot boxes like that has been reported in the Wisconsin recount. Democrats claim election fraud. They are not the same or equivalent. Election fraud can be harder to prove or do much about.

      We need a balloting system that is auditable. A recount isn't an audit. An audit checks to make sure the system is working as it is supposed to and that votes are counted and reported accurately. This usually means some sort of paper trail. You can still use electronic voting machines as long as it prints a record that can be viewed.

      As a side note, I favor an instant-runoff [wikipedia.org] balloting system so that voter preferences are recorded, so that a candidate in a multi candidate election, a candidate doesn't win with a plurality of votes (Candidate A gets 39%, Candidate B gets 37%, Candidate C gets 24%. Candidate A wins but 61% didn't vote for him).

  • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @12:43PM (#53420391)

    We are all in a cave, strapped to a stone. Everything is an illusion.

  • Examples? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @12:47PM (#53420415) Journal

    It would be really amazing if someone could show me a single piece of this propaganda they can trace to the Russians. Where is the evidence?

    • Re:Examples? (Score:5, Informative)

      by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:19PM (#53420599)

      I mean, it's bullshit for the reason the summary said- they basically accused Ron Paul of being a KGB agent. If the Russian propaganda machine is secretly vigorously promoting conservative libertarians, free market libertarians, and every right wing blog they can name, give me a fucking break. Just like when they made a list of "fake news" sites that somehow included every single right wing website except fox news, and it was some liberal professor who made the list. Just because the right has loonies doesn't mean that the left loonies should be dug up and given a grand platform to blather.

      • Re:Examples? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:45PM (#53420755) Journal

        The only fake news site (besides CNN el oh el) [youtube.com] I saw this election paraded around was the same one NPR talked about after the election. I think it was abcnews.com.co, and it's actually made by a lefty to "prove" how right-wingers will fall for stupid shit. Now, I am a right-winger, and when you sign up for the right your welcoming kit includes a firmly affixed tinfoil hat. So every time I saw something from that site posted to a right-wing forum or comments section, immediately people would respond "that's fake, don't spread that around." So lefty makes fake news, posts it to right-wing sites himself, right-wingers reject it, and then he goes to NPR and says "lol right wingers are dumb because I posted my fake news on their forums." It's the "hurr durr I was just pretending to be retarded" meme.

        You would think if this evil russian propaganda were so widespread one could post a screenshot of one of the fake stories and give us some context. "Oh, Putin wants people to think X, so here's his fake site where he posted this story, and here it is being propagated around the net..." Nope. I wonder why they can't show us anything like that? Really gets the old noggin' joggin', huh?

    • Re:Examples? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @02:01PM (#53420845) Journal

      I would not be so skeptical. I used to read a lot of Zero Hedge. I still read RT.com from time to time. If you accept that ALL news has a bias, it becomes apparent. In the case of ZeroHedge, their bias is that economy is about to crash, again. And the price of gold is about to skyrocket, any day now. And the American political system sucks, which they are actually correct on.

      Propaganda is entwined with the reality of nation states. The United States puts out propaganda about Russia. They do the same in return.

      With the internet, the propaganda is more obvious and easier to spread.

      The older I get, the more I realize that everyone has an agenda. Zero Hedge has an agenda. The Washington Post has an agenda. The Communist Party of China has an agenda.

      The thing is, life is short. At this point, I do not have time to focus on other people's agendas unless they intersect with and further my own.

      This whole "Russian Hackers Fucking with Democracy" is the greatest propaganda coup of all time. It still blows my mind that the media managed to completely obfuscate all of the evil shit that the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton were up to by bringing the Russian bogey man out of the closet. (Not that it matters, but I didn't vote for Clinton or Trump).

      In my brief 40 years as an American, I was born into a world where we were supposed to be scared of Russians. To being told that the Russians weren't a threat. To being told that the Islamists that the CIA funded to fight the Russians were the threat. To now being told that the Russians and the disciples of those we trained to fight the Russians are a threat.

      To be honest, I think the biggest threat to America at this point is America. Between the ignorance of the electorate and the iron grip that the military industrial complex has on the economy and the government, we are like the big, retarded bully who doesn't even know why he's angry, but sure as hell is going to beat the shit out of anyone who calls him retarded.

      • Re:Examples? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @02:23PM (#53420933)

        In my brief 40 years as an American, I was born into a world where we were supposed to be scared of Russians. To being told that the Russians weren't a threat. To being told that the Islamists that the CIA funded to fight the Russians were the threat. To now being told that the Russians and the disciples of those we trained to fight the Russians are a threat.

        "We have always been at war with Eastasia." -- George Orwell, "1984"

      • The older I get, the more I realize that everyone has an agenda.

        Exactly. Everything is propaganda. Bias is a part of human nature. I prefer when people clearly state their biases as it's easier to see where they're coming from. I think a large part of the problem we face is people who believe that such a thing as "unbiased journalism" exists. There are people who don't think CNN has an agenda. And that agenda is not always congruent with the best interests of the viewers.

        This is turning into a real problem. When Trump won the NH primary Huffington Post's cover page said

  • ... at least, according to the people who stand to make $160 million over the next two years [voanews.com] "fighting propaganda" by reading blogs and blacklisting any they disagree with.

    Fortunately, they won't come for Slashdot. This is News for Nerds, we never discuss things like politics or rights or surveillance...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 04, 2016 @12:53PM (#53420439)

    That's just another "Not our fault!" lie from Hillary! supporters.

    "Look! a RUSSIAN squirrel!!!!"

    Hillary! lost 2008's Democrat nomination to an upstart from nowhere despite the process being rigged for her.

    Hillary! damn near lost the 2016 Democrat nomination to someone who wasn't even a Democrat despite the process being rigged for her.

    Hillary! lost the 2016 Presidential election despite the media doing its damndest to help her.

    Hillary! might have had a chance had if she weren't an unlikable corrupt harpy and if she had some accomplishment to her name other than marrying Bill.

    • One of her campaign was on Chuck Todd this morning. He ran down a list of things Clinton and the Media have blamed the loss on.

      He asked point blank if they ever considered blaming themselves.

      And the answer was the longest possible way to say "No".

      Some people are so inside their own bubble of a bubble they have no clue what is going on. Look at how many staged "OMG Clinton out Grocery shopping" social media things we got.

      I'm over Red Scare.

      My grand parents were told to be scared of the russians, but it's not

  • Recursion (Score:4, Funny)

    by Gunfighter ( 1944 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @12:53PM (#53420441) Homepage

    Wait.... how do we know whether or not this /. post is propaganda about propaganda about propaganda?

    This recursion stuff gets confusing sometimes.

  • One man's propaganda is another man's truth.

    Propaganda, insider information, hate facts. Who cares. More power to the Russians if they can disrupt a bunch of corrupt people from getting their way (DNC). I'd love for them to start poking at the Republicans next.

    Sun light sanitizes all things. Keep dragging the truth from all the dark holes it is hiding in.

  • PropOrNot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @12:58PM (#53420483)
    The secret group PropOrNot also listed as "allies" many journalists and publications that have never heard of the group before the article. as is evidenced by their twitter responses.

    When this came to light, PropOrNot edited their web page to list them only as "related projects."

    To translate what really happened here is:

    The Washington Post was duped by a fake article about fake news, and then other publicans were duped by the Washington Post's article about the fake article about fake news.

    Journalism is now completely dead, or at least the kind the mainstream media used to produce. Its all now just lazy he-said she-said bullshit where the only filter is the bias of the Journalists and Publications.

    Investigative journalism is now only done by independent folk with hidden cameras, and released on youtube. Thats what exposed Clinton's campaign tactics and voter fraud methods, its what exposed and subsequently destroyed ACORN, and so on.
    • Its all now just lazy he-said she-said bullshit where the only filter is the bias of the Journalists and Publications.

      If the last decade has shown us anything, it's that this is what people actually want to consume. Even prior to the rise of new media, most papers or news networks had some form of political slant. All we're seeing now is a magnification of this. Most people only want something that conforms to their existing beliefs, not an objective account. Knowing that we've gone from the media producing slanted views of stories towards opinion pieces about events and are now heading towards fabrications or opinionated

    • After all those putdowns of the "mainstream media" you praise the doctored and misleading videos that shut down ACORN? Credibility = 0.

    • Re:PropOrNot (Score:4, Insightful)

      by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @04:23PM (#53421533)

      To translate what really happened here is:

      The Washington Post was duped by a fake article about fake news, and then other publicans were duped by the Washington Post's article about the fake article about fake news.

      Not quite a "fake article", but an article based on a report that used a questionable method for identifying "Russian propaganda".

      Basically a site was labelled as distributing Russian propaganda if it regularly posted articles that reproduced current Russia propaganda narratives.

      That sounds legit, but the problem is that a lot of anti-establishment sites push the same kind of narratives. A story getting pushed by RT as Russia propaganda might also be pushed by an independent site as their own fight against the establishment. And they get labelled as promoting Russia propaganda, which they technically are, but that wasn't their intent.

      Journalism is now completely dead, or at least the kind the mainstream media used to produce. Its all now just lazy he-said she-said bullshit where the only filter is the bias of the Journalists and Publications.

      You know I actually thought you were being sarcastic when you wrote that first sentence.

      The WP article got some secondary reporting, and then it got questioned, typically by those same secondary sources.

      Note the first publication in the summary, Rolling Stone, is considered pretty damn progressive. The WP themselves even commented on the matter [washingtonpost.com], though it a much less direct way than I'd like (hopefully their still refining their follow up piece).

      Investigative journalism is now only done by independent folk with hidden cameras, and released on youtube. Thats what exposed Clinton's campaign tactics and voter fraud methods, its what exposed and subsequently destroyed ACORN, and so on.

      Ahh, so when you say "investigative journalism" you mean actual fake news.

  • Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:04PM (#53420515)

    ...could we be seeing propaganda about propaganda about propaganda?

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Never fear, Mark Zuckerburg is working on it now! Soon all those propaganda stories will be replaced with paid advertisements.

  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:05PM (#53420527) Journal
    This story presents facts about Russia's troll factory in St. Petersburg, just as I have done in numerous previous postings and got hammered by the Russian trolls. Go ahead, check my most recent postings to see how the trolls mindlessly mod me down for reporting facts about this troll factory [engadget.com], about the continuing shipments of cargo 200 [112.international] from Ukraine (i.e. dead Russian soldiers), the terrorists in Ukraine who openly admit Russian soldiers are fighting there [uatoday.tv] and supplying them with arms and munitions, or the Russian soldiers who state they have been sent to Ukraine [vice.com] and have fought there, and finally, the law which Putin signed [theguardian.com] which bars Russian mothers from talking about their sons who have died while fighting in Ukraine or even talking with other mothers [amnesty.org] about these deaths. Or course the graves [livejournal.com] of these dead Russian soldiers [bbc.com] say otherwise, as do reports from eyewitnesses and families [reuters.com].

    This story need to be modded down in like fashion. Wouldn't want the Russian trolls to have to see the facts of their dear leader's propaganda industry.
    • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:44PM (#53420751)

      That there are Russian shills on the internet is an undeniable fact. That they are on forums steering the conversation when they can is almost assuredly the case- I've seen such cases myself. But that doesn't mean that every piece of right wing journalism is magically fake news nor Russian spies.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        No, not every piece [cnn.com] of right wing journalism is fake [usatoday.com], but enough that stories from them should be suspect.

        Further, neither did I say anything about Russian spies. I said Russian trolls who, as you pointed out, deliberately try to insert enough fake "news" or falsify factual stories to divert attention or obscure facts. As I pointed out in my original post, Russian trolls will mod me down to try and prevent people from seeing the truth of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. When confronted with the truth the
        • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

          > As I pointed out in my original post, Russian trolls will mod me down to try and prevent people from seeing the truth of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

          I'm personally totally convinced that this happened, because I saw it happen in real time as did you. Even slashdot wasn't immune to this, IMO, and I absolutely saw it on other forums.
          This is *totally separate* from the "Russians helped Trump" claims, however. Trump has huge organic support among his base, as witnessed in the primaries. I did see a bu

      • That there are Russian shills on the internet is an undeniable fact. That they are on forums steering the conversation when they can is almost assuredly the case- I've seen such cases myself. But that doesn't mean that every piece of right wing journalism is magically fake news nor Russian spies.

        There are paid Russian shills for sure, but no matter how extreme I'm always skeptical that any particular poster is a paid Russian shill. As the saying goes, never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, and there is no shortage of stupid people on the Internet.

  • by willoughby ( 1367773 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:11PM (#53420551)

    I admit I don't keep up with this stuff. I thought the North Koreans were the bad guys I was supposed to be terrified of. Now it's the Russians? The vodka people? Damn, I only have so much time to be afraid. Make up your minds.

  • Who knew that fact checking was an essential component of the human immune system?

    Unbeknownst to him, all is not well in the harem. His wife and one of his mistresses are independently plotting his demise. The wife poisons the water in his canteen, while the mistress punctures the canteen so that the water slowly leaks out.

    The Sheik sets out on the journey. After a few miles he feels parched. He unscrews the cap on his canteen and finds, much to his displeasure, that it is empty. He soon dies of dehydration

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:36PM (#53420691)

    The "fake news" narrative is getting old. She didn't lose because of "fake news", she lost because people don't like her and because poor folks don't see Democrats in power and think "my problems will be solved" any more.

    No one is going to vote any different based on telling stories about Russian influence, even if they're true stories. And you won't be able to censor the Internet effectively. If you try to, it will backfire on you.

    If you want the next Democrat candidate to win, here's a suggestion for Democrats: help people. Don't just pick fights. Don't just point and jeer. Actually do something to genuinely help. Do it with a motivation to help rather than to get even with people you hate and maybe help someone in the process. Help Americans to get votes from Americans. Help a broad, inclusive population of people if you want votes from a broad population of people.

    If you don't want Democrats to win, then just keep fighting. Keep calling everyone a racist or some other name. Cater exclusively to SJW crybullys who want to scream about transgenger microaggressions and cultural appropriation. Keep doing nothing for regular people. And keep telling yourself you lost because of "fake news".

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 )

      ^ A million times THIS

    • She didn't lose because of "fake news", she lost because people don't like her and because poor folks don't see Democrats in power and think "my problems will be solved" any more.

      As has always been the case, its the economy, stupid!

      You don't get voted in when people are getting fucked by the things you support.

    • What you said is true, but at the risk of igniting derision in many subsequent comments, Hillary also lost because the American system of presidential elections (for better or worse) weights some votes more than others so that the winner of the popular vote loses the election. This has been endlessly 'litigated' on /. but the fact remains that some people's votes don't count as much as others in the presidential elections and Hillary got the majority of the lower weighted voters. In total more people 'lik

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Given a different system, people might have voted differently. Hillary might or might not have won in that case. Anyone can make up whatever story they want about something that might have happened but didn't.

        She still lost because people don't like her -- the "more than" or "less than" someone else doesn't change that.

      • Hillary also lost because the American system of presidential elections (for better or worse) weights some votes more than others so that the winner of the popular vote loses the election.

        Oh, I get it . . . you're talking about the Superdelegates' votes, right . . . ?

  • "The group "seems to have been in existence for just a few months"

    You mean, roughly coinciding with HRC's failure to mobilize her base, and dawning recognition that she wasn't simply going to ascend the throne as planned?

    Rather than invent a giant Russian hacking cabal, it's simpler to recognize:
    - fake bullshittery news has been with us on the internet since...the internet. Election seasons in particular have always been rife with "did you hear" watercooler talk.
    - its far easier to blame "them" on the inte

    • by Tempest451 ( 791438 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @01:52PM (#53420803)
      It was never one thing. The GOP had 8 years to craft a strategy against HRC. They knew she would be running after Obama and keeping the negative spot light on her was second only to discrediting the Obama administration. Clinton was no "shittier" than any other politician, so the only way for the GOP to win was to indict politicians as a whole. This lead to Trumps win and even thought it was not the way they wanted it, they were more than willing to jump on the bandwagon.
  • Propaganda Russianizes You

  • I know from personal sources what US intelligence black-ops and their propaganda moves are capable of and have pulled of in the past to manipulate the public, so I'd say it's pretty likely.

    Then again, that doesn't make Mr. Putin a nice guy or his regime an oderly one. It's just that the public US debate gives the Russians to much power and their own system to much credibility IMHO.

  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @02:14PM (#53420899)

    ... always blaming Russia.

    "Honey, I took the garbage out like you said, but the fucking Russians put it back!"

    We can't comfortably blame China, because we need them.

    Anyone will buy into the narrative that "Russia did it."

    We knew it was bullshit when the US said, "It's Russia, but we don't know if it's state actors or an individual or individuals."

    Any of us can "be" Russia at any time.

    --

    In any case, the elephant in the room is, "Why can't the US protect the data it owns?"

    This Russia narrative directs criticism away from the real problem.

    And ...

    The DNC leak was an inside job.

    They only got EMAIL!

    Anyone who could have gotten to the other stuff: donor lists, employee personal data, SSN, ground strategy, candid political assessments, etc., would have done so.

    Russians my ass.

  • Only after the election, after months of telling us Clinton had a lock on the election, NOW the MSM is suddenly howling about "fake news."

    Methinks they doth protest too much.

  • "Very clever," said the old lady. "But it's fake news, all the way down." AKA: Postmodernism eating itself.
  • by lfp98 ( 740073 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @05:10PM (#53421739)
    The key to the success and of fake news and the main determinant of its content is not its sources but its consumers. What social media companies have discovered is that giving people whatever news they personally want to hear, regardless of its accuracy, can be a highly lucrative business. Just set up the algorithms, watch the news sources arise like magic, see the subscribers rack up clicks, and let the ad revenue roll in.

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