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A 12-Month Campaign of Fake News To Influence Elections Costs $400K, Says Report (bleepingcomputer.com) 175

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bleeping Computer: A 77-page report released today by cyber-security firm Trend Micro explores the underground landscape of fake news, where anyone can buy influence and create artificial trends to serve personal interests. An examination of Chinese, Russian, Middle Eastern, and English-based underground fake news marketplaces reveals a wide range of services available on these portals. The report explores several websites where customers can purchase services ranging from "discrediting journalists" to "promoting street protests," and from "stuffing online polls" to "manipulating a decisive course of action," such as an election. According to researchers, the typical clients of such services are interested in warping the way others perceive reality. These services are usually used for character assassination, swaying political trends, or creating fake celebrities. Trend Micro has compiled a "fake news" price catalog in its report, which is imbedded in Bleeping Computer's article. Some of the most expensive services include $200,000 for helping to instigate a street protest via fake news articles, $50,000 to discredit a journalist, and $400,000 to influence elections.
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A 12-Month Campaign of Fake News To Influence Elections Costs $400K, Says Report

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  • So cheap!

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @09:12AM (#54616251) Journal
    Winning the hearts and minds of the populace has always been a dirty business. From Machiavelli to Goebbels to the more recent trend of powerful men buying up newspapers that are not profitable in the traditional sense.

    When paying for influence goes on sale, does it not lessen the importance of the elite?

    • by bdares ( 1042128 )
      When influence can be bought with money, it gives more influence to those with money. AKA "elite".
  • by Kohath ( 38547 )

    Good thing we have such awesome government schools. Without the top notch critical thinking skills these havens of learning provide, our population might be susceptible to these shallow disinformation campaigns.

    But who hasn't marveled at the near genius of the average government school student? Achievement, discernment, and wisdom is the true hallmark of a government school education.

    Fake news doesn't have a chance.

    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @09:20AM (#54616305) Homepage Journal

      Time for me to spend some karma (as I will do) pointing out that the Religious Reich is always trying to shit on public education because nobody would believe any of their shit if they had a grounding in logic and critical thinking. The single strongest negative correlation to religion is education. Church membership is plummeting faster than any time in history. Churches all over the western world are going out of business (being merely businesses that sell... hope) and the buildings being turned into homes and coffeeshops, and good riddance.

      Religion is a plague that retards progress.

      • Sounds like Fake News to me....
      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        So religion is bad and nothing else matters at all?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        [..]nobody would believe any of their shit if they had a grounding in logic and critical thinking[...]

        I guess you are not familiar with the theological traditions of Abrahamic religions, which are not strangers to logic or critical thinking. The problem is not lacking those skills, it's the lack of domain knowledge. I used to believe a lot of bullshit (Who am I kidding? I still believe a lot of bullshit, I just don't know which ones are bs), but rarely have I got rid of false beliefs because I learned De Morgan's laws, or found out about yet another fallacy. If you don't know anything about chemistry and bi

        • by XXongo ( 3986865 )

          [..]nobody would believe any of their shit if they had a grounding in logic and critical thinking[...]

          I guess you are not familiar with the theological traditions of Abrahamic religions, which are not strangers to logic or critical thinking.

          Some splinters are, but by no means all. The examples of "theological traditions of Abrahamic religions" that have been actively hostile to all critical thinking are far too numerous to list. And many of these run "schools."

          The problem is not lacking those skills, it's the lack of domain knowledge. I used to believe a lot of bullshit (Who am I kidding? I still believe a lot of bullshit, I just don't know which ones are bs), but rarely have I got rid of false beliefs because I learned De Morgan's laws, or found out about yet another fallacy. If you don't know anything about chemistry and biology, “structured water” sounds as credible as quantum cryptography.

          You have a point there.

      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @10:49AM (#54616945) Homepage

        Religious Reich is always trying to shit on public education

        Your term "religious reich" conjures images of flat-earthers and young-earthers trying to change school boards to ban actual science. As you point-out, real actual science is the cure. Fair enough, but do not make the mistake of believing that this problem only exists on the right: the far left is doing the same thing.

        I know pseudo-science hippies who take Homeopathic remedies, attend Reiki sessions, bless their water to change it's molecular structure to be happier, and plaster Facebook with articles about how nuclear plants in Japan are causing birth defects in Wyoming. They caution me that I live to close to power lines, then wear magnetic bracelets to improve the flow of their aura.

        The problem is kinda related to religion, but it isn't religion itself. Questioning the origin of the universe, believing in God, and being spiritual aren't problems in-and-of-themselves. I've known suicidal drug-addicts who just needed to know they are loved, who were afraid of death. And religion saved them and gave them productive lives. The real problem is dogma.

        Religion is a plague that retards progress.

        Dogma is a plague that retards progress. It is what organized religion and organized political parties devolve into. But dogma != religion. When people on Slashdot talk about religion, they are rarely talking about God. Instead, they are talking about some particular dogma. It's not God that is the problem, it is humans. Part of the reason we conflate religion with dogma is because the media can't report on healthy normal people having normal religious practices. They can only show the extremists because that is all that is newsworthy.

        • bless their water to change it's molecular structure to be happier,

          Really??

        • Dogma is a plague that retards progress. It is what organized religion and organized political parties devolve into. But dogma != religion.

          Almost, but not quite right. Dogma is any essential or inarguable belief. All religions have dogma.

          Some religions have less dogma than others. But, in general: spirituality + dogma = religion. Every religion has both of those things at a minimum.

        • The good thing about hippies is they're nowhere near as effective at organizing themselves as the religious right. They make a fuss, but they've managed very little influence on public policy.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Religious schools persistently turn out higher academic scores in other domains than public schools.

        And while we're at it, here's virtually every branch of science, founded by theists. [wikipedia.org]

        Atheism is still a politically ineffectual, minority view, soon to be eliminated down to the very last man by... evolution.

        Enjoy.
      • by umghhh ( 965931 )

        Not sure about the society you live in in mine the religious congregation of christian variety indeed go down. But hey we have lots of newcomers who are strong believers. They call the thing religion of peace. According to the Pew Research Center, Islam is set to equal Christianity in number of adherents by the year 2050. Islam is set to grow faster than any other major world religion, reaching a total number of 2.76 billion (an increase of 73%).

        As for Christanity, the biggest of them now this is what Pew

      • I think you're wrong on this one. You are conflating religion in general with whatever this thing we have in America can be called. It's not really religion any more than ISIS is a political party.

        I am a Methodist (now). We believe science and education in general are important. We believe in individual liberties, so we tend to respect other people who don't share our beliefs. We also believe in helping others in need, protecting the resources God gave us, and practicing grace and forgiveness with our fello

        • Nothing about my religion makes me act in a way that retards progress.

          Bully for you for being more advanced than the average religious person. If you do not meddle in other people's affairs because you find their lifestyle offensive, then I commend you. However, believing in religion still encourages you to believe in things for no reason other than that you want them to be true because you find them comforting and someone you want to continue to respect got you hooked on the ideas to begin with. This is the opposite of science. The notion that this is somehow justifiable is

      • Wow why are you so crazed to attack religion?

        What's wrong with hope? Do you know any other sort of institution that's selling it? Have you ever lived an impoverished life? Do you know nothing of the value of community?

        You seem to be conflating the ideal of religion with some particular religions that you have experienced. You are probably one of the retards of which you speak, indoctrinated into the Atheist Religion lead by Bishop Dawkins or whatever soulless producer of drivel you read.

        Seriously, your disr

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Good thing we have such awesome government schools. Without the top notch critical thinking skills these havens of learning provide, our population might be susceptible to these shallow disinformation campaigns.

      I received a better education from public school than private school, and I'm rather aware that:

      - Trump is actually doing shit. Congress has not stopped. Legislation is passing.
      - Hillary isn't fucking going to prison.
      - Trump isn't getting impeached.

      Meanwhile, my ol' private school pals either believe Pelosi is in her basement looking for the impeachment she took off the table, or that Clinton and friends will be frogmarched down Pennsylvania avenue in orange jumpsuits within the week.

      Our education system

      • Trump isn't getting impeached....until 2018.
        • The Democrats certainly could take a commanding lead in the House, depending on how things go, but the Senators up for re-election are heavily Democratic. If the Democrats sweep the Senator races, which is unlikely, they wouldn't have any sort of supermajority.

          The House can impeach a President by majority vote. After that, the Chief Justice presides over a trial by the Senate, and it takes two-thirds of the Senate to remove the President from office. That isn't going to happen without a lot of Republi

    • by XXongo ( 3986865 )
      The actual answer is, some public schools (what you call "government schools") are exceptionally good, and some are extremely poor. Some private schools are very good, and some are extremely poor.

      By picking and choosing which particular schools you want to focus on, you can support a conclusion that is anti- or is pro- public school, or anti- or pro- private school, as you like.

      Good thing we have such awesome government schools. Without the top notch critical thinking skills these havens of learning provide, our population might be susceptible to these shallow disinformation campaigns. But who hasn't marveled at the near genius of the average government school student? Achievement, discernment, and wisdom is the true hallmark of a government school education. Fake news doesn't have a chance.

      My suggestion would be that if you're looking for "near genius," that this is a characteristic of the student, not of the school.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        The actual answer is, some public schools (what you call "government schools") are exceptionally good, and some are extremely poor.

        Anyone who tries to do anything about the bad ones (besides dumping endless truckloads of money into them) is prevented because "What if it hurts the good ones!? My kids go to one of the good ones (because we're rich and bought an expensive house in a nice neighborhood)." So there's no hope for the kids who go to the bad government schools.

    • We do have awesome government schools. We also have really, really crappy ones. There are a minimum of fifty different public school systems in the country, and the quality varies wildly, even within school systems.

  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @09:18AM (#54616289)

    ...To fund proper investigative journalistic institutions, non-commercial like the BBC, that could identify, shame, and counter such efforts?

    The journalistic system we have today is basically a self-standing set of dominoes - basically competing to generate attention-getting emotions - looking for any excuse to re-trigger their sequence. It isn't new - yellow journalism has an amazing and lengthy history, but increasingly tabloid coverage is the only news for most folks.

    It's not a moralistic thing that's the problem here - it's informational vulnerability. Like folks growing up in a 'company town' or a cult, it becomes statistically likely that without a path to a wider source of information, that folks will be unable to break out of objectively wrong information and will become willing victims to pure exploitation.

    Even here, lots of folks have given up on the idea of pursuing truth as a societal good. Down that path lies a deep stagnation and victimhood.

    Ryan Fenton

    • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @09:51AM (#54616525)
      It's a bit dangerous to create a reliance on large institutions that can easily be turned into the purveyors of fake news themselves. You can look at it with only good in mind, perhaps like the BBC and think that they're more good than bad, but you can just as easily get something like RT (Russia Today) which (from my own subjective perspective at least) seems to be a bit more slanted. I'd be remiss to give the state anything that could approach a monopoly on the news. If you create a power structure like that, eventually you'll find it filled with the kinds of people who want to abase and abuse it for their own ends.

      As you point out, yellow journalism has been around forever in some form or another. I think that people just haven't quite learned to understand the internet or online media yet, as I suspect that a lot of the people who get duped by so-called "fake news" are the same who would scoff at someone believing something that they read from the National Enquirer or any of those other tabloid rags that line the check-out aisles in grocery stores. It's a bit like exposing a population to a new disease, or a new strain of an old one. We haven't developed a resistance or defenses against this at a societal or cultural level yet, so it seems like a big problem.

      Fundamentally, I think the problem is rooted at a deeper level of human nature. We prefer to seek out things which confirm our beliefs rather than challenge them, and this cuts across more than just the news. Without taking time to train ourselves not to fall into those cognitive traps, we're never going to solve the problem. Seeking the truth is a difficult task, not only because the path is fraught with peril, but because when you get to the end, the truth is often incredibly ugly. How often are people so disgusted by what they discovered that they shut it away completely or only let out parts of it?
      • You're absolutely correct that the state should never be allowed to have anything resembling a monopoly on the news. However, that doesn't mean that public news sources can't be valuable, and relatively unbiased. I would say that, in my experience, the BBC, PBS, and NPR are all more reliable and unbiased the Fox, CNN, or MSNBC.

      • ---
        >>It's a bit dangerous to create a reliance on large institutions that can easily be turned into the purveyors of fake news themselves.
        ---

        Life is filled with reliance on others - that's not a conflict, but it means that we do owe it to ourselves to put reliable information ahead of commercial interests sometimes. Often, actually.

        ---
        >>You can look at it with only good in mind, perhaps like the BBC and think that they're more good than bad, but you can just as easily get somethi

    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @09:59AM (#54616585) Homepage

      How much would it cost to fund proper investigative journalistic institutions, non-commercial like the BBC, that could identify, shame, and counter such efforts?

      There isn't really any amount of money that could fund enough journalism to counter propaganda. And really, let's call it "propaganda". The term "fake news" makes it sound trivial, and diminishes the danger this stuff represents. "Propaganda" has become a dirty word because it conjures images of authoritarian dictators performing mass manipulation, but the thing is, that's exactly what's going on.

      You're never going to completely counter the ability to disseminate propaganda. There will always be some people who believe it. And no amount of journalism alone can counter it.

      If you want to counter is as thoroughly as possible, first, you need a good education system. People need to know what propaganda is, and how it works, so they can spot it. They need people to know enough history to understand when and how propaganda has been used in the past, and for what reasons. You need people to know enough logic to spot poor arguments, and enough philosophy to understand why a logically consistent argument might still lead you astray. You need this kind of education to be widespread and free, so that as many people receive it as possible.

      Then, yes, you also need journalistic institutions that at least attempt to be unbiased. They also need to be set up to avoid turning into tabloids, chasing the most sensationalistic stories rather than informing the public. You need extensive fact-checking, in order to make sure everything said is as accurate as possible. The information they provide needs to be open and freely available. I'm not sure how you accomplish those things.

      You also need good communications infrastructure, so people can talk to each other. Here's where it gets hard: You need public forums that also attempt to be free of bias and sensationalism. Computerized social networks, which are becoming the popular public forums, aim to get their audience to feel the need to constantly review their feeds, and because of that, they're designed to elicit and promote controversy. Facebook and twitter may be the worst things ever to happen to public discourse.

      • You make a good point, but "propaganda" can also just be "truth with a spin", whereas fake news is more literally fake. So I don't think they're the same thing _necessarily_, but are definitely used for the same nefarious purposes.
        • That's an interesting point. I'm not sure I agree that it's a very meaningful distinction. In my mind, when "propaganda" is "truth with a spin", the spin needs to be something that misleads or manipulates, which makes it "fake" in some sense. Meanwhile, a lot of lies and false stories have some element of truth in order to make them more believable.

          The reason I made a point of calling it "propaganda" is that, to me, calling it "fake news" makes it sound... not very nefarious. I'm not sure why. Maybe b

      • If you want to counter is as thoroughly as possible, first, you need a good education system. People need to know what propaganda is, and how it works, so they can spot it.

        Yeah. Most people I see spreading propaganda aren't paid, they're average citizens.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @10:35AM (#54616851)

      ...To fund proper investigative journalistic institutions, non-commercial like the BBC, that could identify, shame, and counter such efforts?

      A lot, because no one would watch it. Take into account the 24 hour news cycle and its inherent need for filler content, the ability for people to access multiple outlets of news in search of one that reflects their own beliefs or bias, and the fact that news outlets are competing with reality TV or entertainment mags or sporting events for eyeballs and entertainment, and you see that news outlets almost have to run news that is "exciting"-blood, bombs, disasters, suffering, etc. Face it, traditional journalism and reporting is boring. Important, but boring. And in this day and age, boring simply can't survive. Especially when the driving force behind operating a news outlet is income based on advertising. Which is why it would cost a lot, because a news outlet producing traditional journalism would require a benefactor with very big pockets to survive.

  • Just look at all the articles published by Huffington Post and CNN.com, so many were patently false. Millions was spent publishing fake news to benefit Hillary.

    This isn't talked about, because it was in the Democrats' favor.

    • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @09:27AM (#54616333) Journal

      Just look at all the articles published by Huffington Post and CNN.com, so many were patently false. Millions was spent publishing fake news to benefit Hillary.

      On the bright side, CNN is now launching a real news site [babylonbee.com] for those interested in things that actually happened.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It wasn't talked about because of the insane amount of existing bias in the media. Just like the media curiously didn't cover the 1996 Telecommunications Act--Thanks, Bill Clinton!--that allowed the media to go from over 200 owning companies to 5. 5 companies control 90% of all information the typical US citizen sees. That should scare anyone. It's easy as hell to buy off 5 companies.

      Imagine if Facebook was the only company that anyone got their news from. Would you magically start trusting Facebook to give

      • You don't have to "buy off" the 5 companies. The 5 companies all have similar interests. They're going to publish things that promote the interests of the conglomerates and their subsidiaries (global capitalism, mass immigration) and ignore or discredit anything that goes against their interests (populism, nationalism).

      • Did Bill Clinton rape tons of women? I've seen suggestive but not decisive evidence that he raped one, but that doesn't stop you from stating that he was a prolific rapist as if it were known fact while giving Cosby the benefit of the doubt.

        You also thank Clinton for an act that was passed by a Republican Congress. Methinks you're showing a lot of bias here.

        Another thing about the Cosby coverage vs. the Clinton coverage is that it's pretty well known that Bill Clinton is a sleazeball, but Cosby had a

    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      Just look at all the articles published by Huffington Post and CNN.com, so many were patently false.

      I'd love to see some examples of "all these articles" that CNN has posted that are "patently false." I suspect you're inventing them, possibly inspired by a FAKE NEWS announcement based on hurt feelings.

      • There are plenty... go google.

        Remember the hundreds of articles posted that claimed "Trump said soldiers commit suicide because they're weak." Which was a vast misportrayal of what he actually said if you watch the actual youtube video.

        Let alone all the BS articles for Hillary while Bernie was kicking her butt. And the likes of CNN didn't even include pictures of Bernie in results he dominated.

        So yes, it is true.

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          There are plenty... go google.

          I checked here [wikipedia.org]. I see nothing that qualifies as CNN posting "patently false" articles. Searching Google for false stories from CNN returns garbage. Note that I'm not saying that CNN is something special - I'm saying that the MSM rarely promotes stories that they just make up. You can find all kinds of crap at the fringe, but major outlets like CNN and Fox News don't make a habit of just making shit up.

    • Conservatives have never learned to deal with the concept that reality has a liberal bias. For years now, they've been whining whenever somebody proves they've been lying and/or cherry-picking isolated facts to fashion a fundamentally dishonest argument. Such people and organizations are now said to be promulgating "fake news".

      It's similar to the well-known conservative tactic of false equivalence, where even one minor liberal indiscretion is endlessly harped on as "evidence" that their mountain of outrig

      • How do you type with your head crammed that far up your ass?

      • STUPID, YES YOU ^^^

        You who are dumb enough to believe it is anything liberal vs conservative, Democrat vs Republican, rather than powers-that-be versus the masses.

        Many of the BS articles were in favor of the corporate elitist Hillary and against Bernie Sanders.

    • by XXongo ( 3986865 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @10:02AM (#54616609) Homepage

      Just look at all the articles published by Huffington Post and CNN.com, so many were patently false. Millions was spent publishing fake news to benefit Hillary.

      I'm not at all a fan of the Huff, but if you're going to state that they and CNN publish articles that are "patently false," some documentation showing specific examples (and more than one example: you said "articles") would be needed. Right now, my summary of what you said is "they published stories that don't support my pre-existing opinion, therefore I will state that these articles are patently false."

      Or, to quote wikipedia: citation needed.

    • But it was more subtle. Sometimes!

      Seriously though the only way around it is to wait for people to realize than any news they read has only a certain probability of partially or fully matching what actually happened. (Strictly speaking that's true with any information entering your mind from the outside.) And that you need to gather multiple sources and give it time to see if the news item remains before you can call it "likely true". Sort of deep learning if you will -- the statistical processes involved a

    • I see the right wing trollocracy has managed to accumulate enough mod points to elevate this bullshit to a status it certainly doesn't deserve.

  • So you can buy a campaign to alter people's opinion. To change their views on something. To influence the actions they would take and the decisions they make.

    OK, How is that different from trying to sell someone washing powder. It washes cleaner (no proof required). it makes your whites whiter - but we don't demand a reference or scientific study for the test that proved it.

    We just accept that most of the stuff we will be told is bullshit. Whether it is about a new car (more energy efficient, chick magn

    • by moeinvt ( 851793 )

      "Are we just looking for a set of information (true or not) that supports our preconceived ideas?"

      Yes. Everybody is doing that. We all see the world through our own reality tunnel & are seeking information to validate our ideas while discounting anything that might contradict them. It's very easy to spot this in others, but extremely difficult to detect in ourselves. There's no real way to turn it off either. The best we can do is be aware that our minds are operating this way & from time to time,

      • I wish everyone understood this. Humans are always biased. They have to be. All living things are biased towards their own goals. Perception is based on goals and obstacles, not "truth." It takes massive effort to even attempt to overcome one's own biases. If you think you're not biased, you're probably the most biased.

        When it comes to media, at least one technique for trying to suss out some kind of truth is to consume multiple different news sources while understanding the biases of the people producing t

    • It's funny, in primary school they teach the kids about Nazi Germany's use of propaganda to coerce public opinion, but they then leave it at that, like propaganda died when Germany was defeated. Propaganda is alive and well in our modern media.
    • We just accept that most of the stuff we will be told is bullshit

      I wouldn't say we accept it flat out, otherwise there wouldn't be any truth-in-advertising laws. But yeah, we tolerate mass manipulation far too readily. Probably because we're all chained to the same capitalistic and exploitive yoke.

  • How much did it cost to get this nonsense posted on Slashdot?
  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @09:51AM (#54616527)

    The page you point to talks about campaigns on VK, a Russian social media site. And even then, the article just provides fact free assertions like "According to researchers, the typical clients of such services are interested in warping the way others perceive reality. These services are usually used for character assassination, swaying political trends, or creating fake celebrities."

  • This article's TLDR
  • American journalists do it on their company's dime.

  • Fake news generated online only works if the mainstream media picks it up and reports it for a week. Most people with minimal critical thinking skills will dismiss a fake news story if it only exists online. But their confirmation bias will give it credence if the mainstream media talks about it. Even if the headline turns out to be B.S., confirmation bias will cause people to think, "Well, this may be false but there's probably something there."

    • Fake news generated online only works if the mainstream media picks it up and reports it for a week. Most people with minimal critical thinking skills will dismiss a fake news story if it only exists online.

      During the last election, I had a few friends that were always sharing fake "Hillary Clinton Going to Prison Soon!" type stories almost every day from siteyouneverheardof.com. They might have been gullible enough to believe it, or had hope that it would be true, but even in the absence of these kinds of fake news stories, none of those guys would have ever voted for Clinton.

    • Oh no, I had relatives vehemently defending the authenticity of satire articles on Facebook last election, let alone the dross propaganda articles. These people have already dismissed the mainstream media.
  • The people who are most interested in influencing elections this way would not see $400k as a large investment and could potentially recoup that in a single favorable tax bill.
  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @11:21AM (#54617205)
    For those who are history buffs, you know very well the history of political propaganda [wikipedia.org]. So really, this is nothing new. The only thing that's changed is the medium. Instead of newspapers and posters, social media is now the primary medium. I think most likely many of us forgot about propaganda because we stopped reading newspapers and watching network television in favor of streaming media, websites and social media. The propaganda spinsters finally caught on and are using social media and now we're aware of it all over again. It's the new old thing.
  • If you ask me. Fox, propaganda on the right Msnbc/CNN etc..propaganda on the left. New "bias" depends on where you stand. What's to the left for some, is to the right, for others.
  • Even the U.S. navy advertised openly in papers a few years back to hire people for exactly these social propaganda campaigns. The article headline almost suggests that the U.S. has never ever done anything like this. Funny.

  • When in reality the problem is the population is too stupid for democracy to work.

    No one is forcing people to believe fake news....or are they? Snakes in the education system? Or are we going to ride the myth that it's really hard to provide people with the basics they need to concentrate on developing their minds while we engage in worldwide military conquest with hardly a few years' rest between campaigns?

    People are being kept stupid so certain people can own our supposed democracy.

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