Discussion: How Russia's Propaganda Campaign Exploited America's Prejudices

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Sam Bee had a segment last night on how Finland dealt with fake news. Although it was kind of weak as far as Full Frontal segments go, it was still pretty interesting.

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Without decades of hate-speech, perpetrated by right wing media in general and FOX in particular, the hackers and the trolls around the globe would have no power on such a large slice of the American pie.

Trump’s entire base is a brainwashed cult body that was just waiting for a head until The Orange Pretender came along.

It was a perfect match… made by hate media.

Russians didn’t create the fear and loathing that FOX conjured up in our midst, but they surely knew how to exploit it.

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Too bad we don’t have an effective opposition party in America.

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As an American, I kind of take exception to this title. They weren’t American prejudices that the Russians exploited, they were Right-Wing prejudices.

I mean, look at the article sub-headings:

Thread 1: Smearing Black Lives Matter
Thread 2: Exploiting anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment
Thread 3: Amplifying gun rights issues

Those are all specifically right-wing issues/prejudices.

If you want to get specific, I suppose it’s fair to call them Right-Wing American prejudices, since the prejudices of wingnuts vary in different countries, but I don’t like getting lumped in with all the right-wing authoritarian assholes in our country simply by virtue of being American. My political views, probably like most of TPM’s readers, have been center-left all my life.

(Edited by author for clarity. and to fix some grammatical awkwardness.)

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Divide and conquer. Nothing new there except the tools for doing it.

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it wasn’t just modern day American conservative topics (going with a nicer word) that got targeted in '16. A percentage of those ads were created to get the 3p vote out.

Simply, last year was an opportune time to really say no to comedic (currently/surprisingly) authoritarianism, but…

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reminder/somewhat o/t

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there can be only one…

As for the era, just call it “POST FOX” for clarification, that explains it fully to anyone to the left of Limbaugh.

Without FOX and wingnut media’s steady drumbeat of hate and prejudice, that “divide” wouldn’t be nearly as bottomless.

You just can’t undo dcades of brainwashing overnight, if ever. All the Trumpladytes will have to die in the wilderness before we can enter our promised land of the future… or something like that. They are just too stubborn to change for the sake of anyone else but their own inner circle of authoritarian addiction and unhinged, greedy desires.

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IDK about everyone else, but at this juncture, “protest voters” all look like Macedonian trolls to me.

rebels without a pause… seriously, the drumbeat they keep up is becoming tediously transparent.

Who do they still think they are fooling?

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Hell, if someone could point out the difference between these points and the thrust of the billions spent on soft money campaigns by right wing American groups and oligarchs, I´d be happy to hear them.

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not all of em

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It is honestly not too hard to do. The sad part is that many people are swayed by this sort of stuff in the first place. Most people vote based on fear and anger as opposed to making a good choice.

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I continue to be astonished at the complete media silence about the ongoing infestation of website comment fora by Russian trolls. Disqus is lousy with them. The WaPo’s comment section is infested with them. And they’re obvious. People whose use of articles makes it clear what their first language is and whose comments make it clear mission one is spreading doubt about the existence of Russian trolls while mission two is exploiting division.

It helps that they are increasingly quickly identified and derided by the other commenters, who are onto them now, but the media silence about them is . . . interesting. Almost as if the media’s long-standing distaste for comment sections keeps them from wanting to acknowledge its existence, much less what goes on in them, lest some misguided soul think what happens in them matters.

God, I nailed one at Raw Story attacking people for believing a story about the Facebook ads whose unhidden comment history contained multiple entries attacking “fake news” followed by “thank God for RT.”

And yeah, we all know who the few who used to be here were.

And for that matter, that is leading them to overlook the bigger problem at Facebook, which wasn’t the ads, but, rather their infiltration of Facebook as regular users where they commented on people’s pages, collected friends and injected fake news links and general nastiness into the memespace of both the righties and the bernitdown lefties.

The ongoing refusal of any of the latter to admit they were targeted is both amusing and typically infuriating.

Update: And right now, over at MoJo, on this story:

The day Donald Trump was elected president, nearly 2,000 Twitter accounts that had pumped out pro-Trump messages in the run-up to the vote suddenly went dark. Then, in spring 2017, these bot-controlled accounts reemerged to campaign en français for Marine Le Pen in the French election, and then once again this fall, to tweet auf Deutsch on behalf of the far-right party in Germany’s election.

Obvious Russian trolls are in the Disqus comment section trashing the premise of the story or engaging in deflection and equivocation. Many of them have Boris and Natasha level English. And, in a fascinating development, one of them is battling it out with being outed rather than doing what they usually do and just vanishing from the thread. Evidently someone in St. Pete noticed that that pattern had been noticed.

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Both Hitler and Stalin made use of “disorder” that they had helped to organize and fund as an excuse to take over neighboring countries. What’s new is that this isn’t being treated as a national security issue.

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Just because Russian trolls are newly discovered by journalists, doesn’t mean they are new. I believe they’ve been calling Mega-Dittos to Rush Limbaugh since repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. I believe they’ve been in the newsgroups and chat rooms since internet access was first extended to undergraduates in computer science and engineering.

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“Why do I have a gun? Because it’s easier for my family to get me out of jail than out of cemetery.”

You know that’s fake because “cemetery” is spelled correctly.

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That is the most damning truth. The American right has been exploiting the seams in our domestic fabric as an GOP electoral strategy since Nixon. The Russians would have failed in their effort to seperate us without the pre-existing damage conducted by the GOP since the 1960’s. United we stand, divided we fall.

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FOX News created the opening and Russia came through it. It was the perfect setup for them to infiltrate our politics. Thank you Roger Ailes; may you burn in hell you bastard.

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