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FBI Tracked 'Fake News' Believed To Be From Russia On Election Day (cnn.com) 352

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: The FBI monitored social media on Election Day last year in an effort to track a suspected Russian disinformation campaign utilizing "fake news," CNN has learned. In the months leading up to Election Day, Twitter and Facebook were the feeding grounds for viral "news" stories floating conspiracies and hoaxes, many aimed at spreading negative false claims about Hillary Clinton. On Election Day, dozens of agents and analysts huddled at a command center arrayed with large monitoring screens at the FBI headquarters in Washington watching for security threats, according to multiple sources. That included analysts monitoring cyber threats, after months of mounting Russian intrusions targeting every part of the US political system, from political parties to policy think-tanks to state election systems. On this day, there was also a group of FBI cyber and counterintelligence analysts and investigators watching social media. FBI analysts had identified social media user accounts behind stories, some based overseas, and the suspicion was that at least some were part of a Russian disinformation campaign, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.

FBI Tracked 'Fake News' Believed To Be From Russia On Election Day

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  • They looked for it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2017 @09:05AM (#54945985)

    OK. What did they find? Or is the answer to that question (maybe even the question itself!) "fake news"?

    • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @09:16AM (#54946025)
      So there was a lot of fake news coming out, and some was from Russia. Thanks for this information, I would never have guessed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by unixisc ( 2429386 )

      Democrats & neocons act like Fake News is something that requires a state actor. Despite the fact that anybody on a laptop can put together something on a website, broadcast it on FaceBook & Twitter, get enough retweets and soon, the thing has a life of its own.

      During the Cold War, US diplomats could tell their Soviet counterparts, when confronting them w/ photographic or video evidence, that pictures don't lie. That changed since computers became popular, along w/ Photoshop and video editing

    • " . . . many aimed at spreading negative false claims about Hillary Clinton."

      What was fake about those negative claims? I'd believe almost anything negative about Hillary. Well, maybe not the one about her drinking the blood of young children, but nearly everything else.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        " . . . many aimed at spreading negative false claims about Hillary Clinton." What was fake about those negative claims? I'd believe almost anything negative about Hillary. Well, maybe not the one about her drinking the blood of young children, but nearly everything else.

        Just because you believe these claims doesn't mean they're true; it rather means that people are telling you what you want to hear.

      • YOU believe, well, that's a real yardstick for truth....not
      • I'd believe almost anything negative about Hillary.

        And just this moment on a Russian aircraft carrier docked off the Siberian coast, a banner unfurls that reads in Russian, "Mission Accomplished."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    targetting the Trump campaign too?

    Y'know the stuff that was played out here on slashdot as well? Or are we only running this as a propaganda campaign that anything and everything attacking Trump was true but everything attacking Hillary was Russian fake news?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Exactly which points of disinformation were being spread that are provably false? (No, obvious lunacy like being a satanic blood drinking whatever don't count.)

    What makes them say it was a campaign of influence rather than clickbait for ads?

  • ...many aimed at spreading negative false claims about Hillary Clinton.

    Trump and Clinton were arguably the two most hated presidential candidates to run in US presidential election history. They didn't need the "help" of fake news to have material on which to attack each other as there was no shortage of negative true information about them.

    The key difference was that every little thing Trump did was held up by the media (and the Republican establishment) as a harbinger of the end of modern civilization if Trump were to get elected.

    On the other hand, every thing tha

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2017 @09:24AM (#54946055)

      " was largely treated as non-news by the same media."

      It was being reported, but the media kept saying "oh, this isn't a big deal" while anything Trump did was reported as the end of days.

      Had the news been impartial, Clinton easily wins, but the media couldn't help themselves and made the whole system look corrupt and pre-planned.

      What's funny is when Democrats say that Hillary was treated unfairly by the media. Are you kidding me? Her downfall was that she was treated too well that it was obvious the whole system is corrupt...and that she was so confident throughout, as if she was daring voters to try and stop her pre-ordained presidency.

      • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @09:35AM (#54946117)

        Had the news been impartial, Clinton easily wins, but the media couldn't help themselves and made the whole system look corrupt and pre-planned.

        The RNC couldnt even keep Trump from getting the nomination, so its not the whole system thats corrupt and pre-planned.
        The DNC on the other hand....

        The Democrats are better because some of their delegates are SUPER!!!

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The RNC couldnt even keep Trump from getting the nomination, so its not the whole system thats corrupt and pre-planned.

          Nope, just corrupt and unrepresentative.

          The DNC on the other hand....

          The Democrats are better because some of their delegates are SUPER!!!

          Political parties have a right to set their own standards. But both parties have a flawed primary system, and so does the presidential election itself. Not to mention the various legislative seats, which are grossly imbalanced.

          • No, it's corrupt (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @11:24AM (#54946479) Homepage Journal

            Nope, just corrupt and unrepresentative.

            Political parties have a right to set their own standards. But both parties have a flawed primary system, and so does the presidential election itself. Not to mention the various legislative seats, which are grossly imbalanced.

            I'm coming to the realization that the Democrats are actually corrupt(*).

            I was reading about the DOJ slush fund [breitbart.com](**) and it struck me just how deep and insidious the corruption has been in this country.

            This is paired with the IRS selecting conservative charities for intense scrutiny [wikipedia.org], 11 California counties have more registered voters than adults [breitbart.com], all the leaks and outright disobeying of executive orders from the WH.

            And let us not forget after the election, leftists pleaded with the EC delegates to be faithless, then pleaded with the supreme court to invalidate the results, then pleaded with the U.S. military to step in and prevent the inauguration (wtf?), leaked secret and sensitive information - not to expose crimes, but for political slander, and rioted for weeks. They thought all this was OK, if it somehow got them to their goals. For example, Hillary made no statements condemning the riots, and most of the left blamed the rioting on Trump.

            All this *in addition* to the Sanders thing, and getting special treatment in the press and for the debates, blocking reasonable voter registration, and suppressing the military vote. [washingtontimes.com]

            There's a sub-conversation on the net that holds that the Democratic party *won't survive* once all the corruption has been rooted out. The Democratic ideals are so far from what people want that they require all the extra boost they get from a tilted playing field.

            I'm not sure I believe that bit about the Democratic party not surviving, but after reading about the DOJ thing, and knowing the level of effort we're putting into the Russia probe while ignoring some seemingly obvious evidence [dailysignal.com] on the Democratic side, it makes me wonder...

            (*) Whether the Republicans are also corrupt, or have a different level of corruption, is still an open question.

            (**) DOJ plea-bargains where the offending company pays its fine to charity, but the DOJ only chooses charities that promote left-wing causes.

            • Re:No, it's corrupt (Score:4, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2017 @04:10PM (#54947799)

              I'm coming to the realization that the Democrats are actually corrupt(*).

              I was reading about the DOJ slush fund [breitbart.com](**) and it struck me just how deep and insidious the corruption has been in this country.

              Why not Teapot Dome, Credit Mobiler, Iran-Contra, Enron, and Bernie Madoff?

              This is paired with the IRS selecting conservative charities for intense scrutiny

              And liberal ones. Who both needed to file proper reports to meet their non-profit status.

              Even Congress had to admit it was all proper in the end.

              11 California counties have more registered voters than adults

              You can't blame California for Steve Mnuchin, Tiffany Trump, Jared Kushner, and Steven Bannon, who nonetheless, remind us, it's not a crime. Despite false claims [latimes.com] otherwise.

              And let us not forget after the election, leftists pleaded with the EC delegates to be faithless,

              I pleased with the EC delegates to quit myself, it might be the only thing that gets us past that broken system.

              then pleaded with the supreme court to invalidate the results,

              No, the Supreme Court acted in 2000, unlawfully overriding state courts for their own partisan gain.

              then pleaded with the U.S. military to step in and prevent the inauguration (wtf?),

              Like those massive crowds of people that Trump (falsely) claimed were there, huh?

              leaked secret and sensitive information - not to expose crimes, but for political slander,

              Oh wait, you mean when they leaked Trump's fake pictures of Time Magazine covers, right?

              and rioted for weeks

              No, that was Chicago celebrating winning the World Series.

              For example, Hillary made no statements condemning the riots,

              Also she didn't condemn the sugar plum fairy.

              and most of the left blamed the rioting on Trump.

              Trump called for it himself [thehill.com].

              blocking reasonable voter registration,

              No [nytimes.com], that [nytimes.com] was [thenation.com] the GOP [usnews.com].

              and suppressing the military vote.

              sure man [snopes.com]

              There's a sub-conversation on the net that holds that the Democratic party *won't survive* once all the corruption has been rooted out.

              Sure man, and what else are they discussing? Why they can't find the dead bodies in the Pizza Parlor?

              The Democratic ideals are so far from what people want that they require all the extra boost they get from a tilted playing field.

              Is that why they keep getting more voters?

              I'm not sure I believe that bit about the Democratic party not surviving, but after reading about the DOJ thing, and knowing the level of effort we're putting into the Russia probe while ignoring some seemingly obvious evidence [dailysignal.com] on the Democratic side, it makes me wonder...

              Actually, the Republicans in Congress are still busy chasing their tails [go.com] over Hillary.

              I gues

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Are you kidding me? Her downfall was that she was treated too well

        OK, having seen the way the US media treated Hillary Clinton, I can only conclude you did not watch any of the coverage.

        Trump got a free pass on anything stupid he said, the only thing you heard about Clinton was "Email", "Podesta" and "Lock her up". All charges that were later dropped once the Republicans got in. The media, especially the Murdoch media was so biased against Clinton it was funny, it wasn't even subtle.

        I have no doubt the Russians manipulated the US election, an unstable US with econom

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2017 @09:40AM (#54946133)

      ...many aimed at spreading negative false claims about Hillary Clinton.

      Trump and Clinton were arguably the two most hated presidential candidates to run in US presidential election history. They didn't need the "help" of fake news to have material on which to attack each other as there was no shortage of negative true information about them.

      And yet mysteriously, the fake information abounded, in fact, the fake information has a long history of existing. A lot of it from Trump, who seems inclined to create accomplishments out of smoke and mirrors. But a lot from the GOP, who still wants to chase after Benghazi and Whitewater.

      The key difference was that every little thing Trump did was held up by the media (and the Republican establishment) as a harbinger of the end of modern civilization if Trump were to get elected.

      Actually, pretty much everything Trump did was completely ignored by his base, serious questions weren't answered, and he's fulfilled a lot of low expectations of him. But then, so has his base, who is still championing his successes, declaring his Christian morality, and insisting that the rest of us give him a chance even as he denounces all his opponents for standing in his way.

      On the other hand, every thing that Hillary did (and there was lots: evading federal records laws, flipping on "don't ask don't tell", flipping on gay marriage, colluding with the DNC on debate prep, colluding with the DNC on subverting Sanders' campaign, the highly questionable financial arrangements of the Clinton foundation, etc.) was largely treated as non-news by the same media.

      Is that why they reported on it incessantly?

      So, in summary, there was absolutely no shortage of negative news on Clinton, it was just getting ignored by the news media.

      Except for all the stories.

      The copious amounts of them. Taken seriously.

      Meanwhile, so is the clown.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What you're describing really boils down to average Americans in general getting sick and tired of the leftism that has been forced on them recently, especially over the last decade or so.

      These average Americans are tired of the hypocrisy and contradiction that leftists continually exhibit.

      Average Americans are tired of seeing huge numbers of illegal aliens flow over America's borders uninhibited, and they're especially tired of the economic distortions these illegal aliens bring. Average Americans are tire

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And yet more Americans voted for Hilary.

      • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @10:18AM (#54946227) Journal

        More Americans voted for Clinton than Trump. And since then Trump has become one of the most unpopular presidents since presidential polls began.

        So tell me again how exactly you have a window on the "average American".

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The GP addressed this.

          This is happening at the local level. This is happening at the state level. This is happening at the federal level. There is a widespread rejection of leftism by a huge portion of the American population.

          304 electoral college votes went to the Republican candidate in the 2016 election. Only 227 went to the Democratic candidate. (The popular vote is irrelevant. It's the electoral votes that matter.)

          34 of the state governors are Republican. Only 15 are Democrats.

          32 of the state legislatu

        • So tell me again how exactly you have a window on the "average American".

          I've got a window on their voting habits; they stayed home.

        • by bongey ( 974911 )
          11 counties have more voters registered than people. LA alone is at 144% of people register vs actual population but they haven't cleaned the lists. This alone doesn't mean there was voter fraud but increases the chances there actually is significant amount of voter fraud in CA, but CA doesn't want anyone to check. http://www.judicialwatch.org/p... [judicialwatch.org]
      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        Yes AC thats how a good person wins a US election.
        Talk the voters. Give good speeches that good people want to attend.
        Jobs, health care, security, less wars, making the USA great again.
        Talking and listening to people all over the USA.
    • the highly questionable financial arrangements of the Clinton foundation

      Citation needed.

      Oh wait, there is no shortage of fake citations about that.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      What fake news?
      If a candidate cant give a good quality speech in the different parts of the USA?
      That person will not win a US election.
      Staying on the elite east and west coast won't win a US election.
  • This is from CNN? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 )
    CNN is talking about fake news again.

    oh the irony!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2017 @09:16AM (#54946029)

    As consumers of news, how can we be sure that this news story isn't an example of "fake news"?

    The article says

    The FBI declined to comment for this story.

    And it repeatedly includes stuff like

    Sources say

    and

    according to multiple sources

    and

    according to two sources

    and (once again!)

    according to multiple sources

    The lack of concrete details and information leaves me very uneasy. It makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to independently verify what is being claimed.

    Should I play it safe and assume that this article may just be "fake news" until proven otherwise?

  • Need specifics (Score:5, Informative)

    by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @09:20AM (#54946035)
    CNN and the DNC have been claiming that Russia was responsible for John Podesta's falling for a phishing scam, which gave hackers access to his account which contained information that lead to further DNC hacks. How can the Russians be responsible for the foolishness of a single American? It's time for real facts, not the ongoing BS, which is repeated enough that it becomes circular and self sustaining.
    • This! I was just trying yesterday to recall...wasn't this a case of a poorly worded email from an IT staffer saying the phishing email was "legitimate " instead of illegitimate "? Basically a poor choice of words where an improper prefix changed the entire meaning of his advice? Serves as a great lesson to us in the field to REALLY spell things out 2 or 3 ways, like "DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK. IF YOU DID ALREADY, COME SEE I.T. IMMEDIATELY. THAT IS ALL"

      • Some IT staffer did apparently tell Podesta that it was a legitimate email, and that he should immediately change his password, when the advice should have been that it was NOT a legitimate email, and change his password using (link goes here).

    • It's time for real facts, not the ongoing BS, which is repeated enough that it becomes circular and self sustaining.

      That's a good point. This "expanding the circle jerk" phenomenon happens quite a bit in policy circles. Someone puts out a paper at the end of a project, with dubious conclusions, and it's picked up by scores of others who want it to be true, and it grows exponentially. Yet the original source is deeply flawed. And yet, there are scores of sources restating the flawed conclusions, including MS

    • How can the Russians be responsible for the foolishness of a single American?

      Russians can be found responsible both for perpetrating cybercrimes and interfering with the election, an act of war.

  • `Russia` is a distraction.
    The real evils are not even indicted.
    Where is Hillary? Loretta? Dick? Herbert? George? The list goes on!
    If they're less bad than we know they will not be jailed.
    The real problems are way closer to home.
    The real problems get no policy.
    And the empire declines even further.
    At some point the arabs will stop using JUST dollars for oil.
    At some point the many, MANY military bases around the world will have to be evacuated.
    Those are the signs that the rest of the world recognises
  • I don't get it: why does anyone care. Foreign government has an opinion, published propaganda pieces supporting it. Opinion happens to be about another government's elections.

    Tell me the US government doesn't do this. Tell me just about any country on earth doesn't do this. This isn't news, it isn't even interesting. It's just the continuing progressive drumbeat, as they try to not let their "fake news" Russia stories die.

    tl;dr: Hillary didn't need any help losing the election.

    Also: For anyone who hasn't fi

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @12:19PM (#54946717) Homepage Journal

      Well, by that token, why doesn't Russia simply come out and say "this message was brought to you by the Russian Federation"?

      I'll answer my own question: because nobody would believe the message. And they'd be right.

      Yes, everyone does this; it's called "information warfare". This doesn't make it good for the target country.

    • Trump talking with the Russians is normal and expected behavior. How can we expect him to influence them if he never talks with them? The Issue is his lying about it, as that makes it looks like he's doing something underhanded and dirty.

  • How did political biased news get on slashdot. This is a complete waste. I'm so sick of reading this type of news and it infiltrated the technology news source I use. Whoever submitted this pulled a biased news source of CNN for an anti Trump article. What a great job publishing an article. The posts are getting worse. There was an article just the other day about a billboard hacked that was just a conspiracy and it seemed the writer of the summary didn't even read the article as the edit time of the articl
  • I remember election night. I knew who was going to win, but I turned on the computer, poured myself a drink, opened the political sites, turned on news radio, and waited for the fait accompli bloodbath to commence. Everyone knew who was going to win. Because we'd been told in poll after poll after poll.

    Similarly with Brexit. We knew it was going to fail, because poll after poll after poll said so.

    Very suspicious. That's the real fake news.

  • US fake news is not a result of solely government action. It's primarily a result of heavily biased private media. The US government does not have an official news organ (PBS is, to some degree). US fake news is primarily a result of private media and business interests aligning with a political party, which are wholly private organizations (which many people often forget and the illusion of being public entities is pushed heavily by the parties).

    Other country's fake news comes straight from the governmen

  • Because that's when right wing trolls flood the comments section of such stories with their drek and moderate all other posts into oblivion.

  • It seems a fair question: the US has a long history of interference in the democratic processes and/or governments of literally DOZENS of other countries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change). So why are people so upset if a foreign power plays that game on their own soil?

  • What she did was unwise but in the end not worth prosecuting.

  • The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming
    Trump won, move on!

    • Why would the Russians be coming? They're already getting just about everything from Trump it's in his power to give. Putin's getting a green light to screw the Ukraine, Trump's handing him Syria on a plate, and even while Trump was yapping at China to control North Korea, his buddies in Russia increased trade with Kim's regime by 73% just in the first two months of this year.

      The Russians are having a great time right where they are, thanks to their lap dog in the White House.

  • .... got really low.

    Every single government uses propaganda against other countries, even friendly countries (BBC publishes sneaky anti French articles on a regular basis)

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