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Fri Mar 3, 2017 8:22am (XFF:

The Rand report — which dubbed Russian propaganda efforts a “firehose of falsehood” because of their speed, power and relentlessness — traced the country’s current generation of online propaganda work to the 2008 incursion into neighboring Georgia, when Russia sought to blunt international criticism of its aggression by pushing alternative explanations online.

The same tactics, researchers said, helped Russia shape international opinions about its 2014 annexation of Crimea and its military intervention in Syria, which started last year. Russian propaganda operations also worked to promote the “Brexit” departure of Britain from the European Union.

But most observers are missing the point. Russia is helping Trump’s campaign, yes, but it is not doing so solely or even necessarily with the goal of placing him in the Oval Office. Rather, these efforts seek to produce a divided electorate and a president with no clear mandate to govern. The ultimate objective is to diminish and tarnish American democracy. Unfortunately, that effort is going very well indeed.

Russia’s attempts to influence the U.S. election via hacking and selectively leaking sensitive U.S. government and political data were not conducted in isolation. They were accompanied by large-scale, long-term efforts to build online “fake news” propaganda outlets with significant audiences in the U.S. PropOrNot has so far identified over 200 distinct websites, YouTube channels, and Facebook groups which qualify as Russian propaganda outlets according to our criteria and target audiences in the United States. Drawing on existing research and using a combination of automated and manual review techniques, we estimate the regular U.S. audiences of these outlets to number in the tens of millions.

And lastly, an interesting interview with someone who creates actual fake news.

You’ve been writing fake news for a while now — you’re kind of like the OG Facebook news hoaxer. Well, I’d call it hoaxing or fake news. You’d call it parody or satire. How is that scene different now than it was three or five years ago? Why did something like your story about Obama invalidating the election results (almost 250,000 Facebook shares, as of this writing) go so viral?

Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.

You mentioned Trump, and you’ve probably heard the argument, or the concern, that fake news somehow helped him get elected. What do you make of that?

My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.

  • ... that are available to everyone to view that show materials planted in the media by the Russians? If so, please post the links.
    • Support For The Claim Here - Links Provided... — Amadeus, Fri Mar 3 8:22am
    • Fair Request...Amadeus, Fri Mar 3 7:12am
      I heard about their fake news machine via an NPR interview with someone who had worked in either the State Department or the CIA under Obama. They did offer examples, but I will see if I can find a... more
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