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A Russian 'troll slayer' went undercover at a troll factory - Business Insider
"Troll slayer" and journalist Lyudmila Savchuk when undercover at a troll factory for two and a half months to see how it works.
Savchuk found that the organization was broken up into departments: "news division," the "social media seeders", and a group dedicated to producing visual memes known as "demotivators."
The operation was run by a local restaurateur who was placed under US sanctions for attempting to interfere with US elections.
Savchuk believed her work would help Facebook understand how its platform could be gamed, but no longer believes the fight against trolls is winnable.
When a journalist heard a bot organization was hiring writers, she went for it.
Slaying online trolls can be a lonely business. Just ask Russia's Lyudmila Savchuk, who first exposed the story of Russia's disinformation campaign back in 2014.
The journalist and 33-year-old mother of two, Savchuk started noticing websites and social media accounts attacking local opposition activists in her hometown of Saint Petersburg with a frequency she hadn't seen before.
The posts were all too similar. The verbal assaults too coordinated. So, when Savchuk later heard that an organization rumored to be behind the campaign — the Internet Research Agency or IRA — was hiring writers, she went for it.
russia  politics  gov2.0  troll  social_media  propaganda  fake_news  disinformation 
21 days ago by rgl7194
Learning To Spot Fake News: Start With A Gut Check : NPR Ed : NPR
Which of these statements seems more trustworthy to you?
1) Americans are drowning in a tsunami of ignorance! There is a conspiracy at the highest levels to replace all knowledge with propaganda and disinformation.
2) A recent Stanford University report found that more than 80 percent of middle schoolers didn't understand that the phrase "sponsored content" meant "advertising."
For most of the NPR audience, this shouldn't be a tough question. The first sentence is a florid, mislabeled statement of opinion with an unverifiable, overgeneralized, ideological claim ("conspiracy at the highest levels").
The second is more measured in tone and limited in scope. And, it has a link that goes straight to the original source: a press release from a reputable university.
But these days, statements of all stripes are bombarding us via broadcast and social media. The trick is classifying them correctly before we swallow them ourselves, much less before we hit "Like," "Share" or "Retweet."
And that is the goal of an educational initiative that will be adopted by 10 universities across the country this spring.
fake_news  factcheck  propaganda  disinformation  media  literacy 
25 days ago by rgl7194
In The Wake Of Ukraine's Civil War, Students Learn How To Identify Fake News : NPR
About five years since the war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists began, triggering a surge in propaganda and disinformation, some students in four cities across the country are learning how to better assess what they're reading, seeing and hearing.
A report released Friday by global education organization IREX says that students in 8th and 9th grades were better able to identify false information and hate speech after teachers integrated the organization's media literacy techniques into their lessons.
Students were twice as likely to detect hate speech and 18 percent better at identifying fake news than students who missed out on those lessons, according to the report.
The Listen to Discern program, funded by the U.S. and U.K. embassies in Ukraine, was tested in 50 schools, including in the eastern city of Mariupol which saw major fighting in the war's first years.
A group of fact checkers, journalists and teachers wove the training into some 15 existing lesson plans.
ukraine  schools  education  media  literacy  fake_news  propaganda  disinformation 
25 days ago by rgl7194
Network Heuristics | Hapgood
There's a story going around right now about a "reporter" who was following people shorting Tesla stock and allegedly approaching them for information. I won't go into the whole Elon vs. the Short Sellers history, you don't need it. Let's just say that posing as a reporter can be used for ill in a variety…
newswire  fake_news 
7 weeks ago by kejadlen
These Are the Ads Russia Bought on Facebook in 2016 - The New York Times
A look at some of the ads designed by Russia to exploit divisions in American society and to tip the 2016 election in favor of Donald J. Trump.
politics  russia  fake_news 
8 weeks ago by jstenner
5 Years of StopFake: The Evolution of Fighting Against Russian Propaganda in Ukraine
StopFake: How it all began
Five years ago, during the Revolution of Dignity, when Ukraine’s ex-President Viktor Yanukovych went on the run and Russian troops started to occupy Crimea, Ukrainians simultaneously experienced a massive propaganda attack from Russia. The informational space of Russia, Ukraine and Europe was flooded with deceitful messages from Russian and pro-Russian media that began to write “about the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine”, about the activities of the “junta”, as well as “the legitimacy of President Yanukovych” and the role of the US and the EU in the revolution. It was in those days that the word “fake” started to become commonplace. That was how journalists and experts started to define false information that distorts real facts and changes reality but is presented as a news story.
That was the setting at the beginning of March 2014 when the StopFake project came to life. The initiators of the project were teachers, graduates and students of the Mohyla School of Journalism. StopFake started as a volunteer project but over time it assembled a team of professionals working on disinformation and now includes over 40 people. The task of StopFake was to check and refute disinformation and propaganda about events in Ukraine, which were disseminated by Russian media. Besides studying the influence of propaganda on Ukraine, StopFake explores its methods of influence on other countries and regions, primarily the European Union and the countries of the former Soviet Union.
anniversary  ukraine  russia  disinformation  propaganda  fake_news 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Bezos/National Enquirer
Don’t put anything in writing. Because then you have plausible deniability.
One thing about Trump, he’s proven to be surrounded by third-rate attorneys who are really henchmen, lawyers that would be disbarred if their activities ever came to light.
And now we have Dylan Howard and Jon Fine of American Media extorting Jeff Bezos in print, as if they’ve got no idea how the world works, never mind the law.
This is what happens when you’re drunk with power, when you serve those with agendas in the world of gotcha, believing if they’re the biggest bully they will always win.
That’s not only David Pecker, but Donald Trump.
amazon  sexting  fake_news  crime  gov2.0  politics  trump  lefsetz 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Sex, Blackmail, and Jeff Bezos - WhoWhatWhy
How Murdoch Is Using the Scandal to Advance a Trump Agenda
The nation is now agog over a sex and blackmail scandal that involves two of the more famous publishers in the world — Jeffrey Bezos, owner of Amazon and the Washington Post, and David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer. By now you know the bare — and I do mean bare — outlines of the scandal. Jeffrey Bezos, married for 26 years, entered into a relationship with another woman, also married.
As a Washington Post columnist recently put it with the utmost delicacy, Bezos “fell into a hormonally induced trance, during which he texted her intimate messages and pictures.”
Somehow the National Enquirer obtained copies of said “messages and pictures” and published a few in an 11-page exposé that effectively ended Bezos’s marriage. Bezos immediately ponied up some of his $130 billion fortune to fund an investigation into how the emails and texts had been obtained. Recently he has gone public with his suspicions that the Enquirer’s story was politically motivated — most likely on behalf of Donald Trump.
Bezos even floated the idea that a foreign country, possibly Saudi Arabia, had plucked his sexting messages from the cloud to curry favor with Trump.
amazon  sexting  fake_news  crime  gov2.0  politics  trump  sex 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Report: Bezos-hired sleuth suspects sexts stolen by “government entity” | Ars Technica
Bezos gave private eye unlimited budget to investigate stolen photos.
Yesterday Jeff Bezos alleged that David Pecker, CEO of the company that publishes the National Enquirer, attempted to blackmail Bezos by threatening to publish nude photos of Bezos. The married Bezos allegedly sent the explicit photos to another woman, broadcaster Lauren Sanchez.
One of the big unanswered questions in the story is how the National Enquirer obtained the photos. One obvious possibility is that someone hacked Bezos' phone—or possibly Sanchez's.
But in an interview on MSNBC, Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia pointed to a different possibility. The Post is owned by Bezos, and while Roig-Franzia says he hasn't talked to Bezos directly, he has talked to Gavin De Becker, a legendary security consultant who is working for Bezos. "Gavin De Becker told us that he does not believe that Jeff Bezos' phone was hacked," Roig-Franzia said. "He thinks it's possible that a government entity might have gotten hold of his text messages."
amazon  sexting  fake_news  crime  gov2.0  politics  trump  sex 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media
Newsguard, the internet news "fact checker" has deep connections to the US government and silicon valley, and it's going after independent media.
journalism  fake_news  neocons 
9 weeks ago by jstenner
The Making of the Fox News White House | The New Yorker
Fox News has always been partisan. But has it become propaganda?
In January, during the longest government shutdown in America’s history, President Donald Trump rode in a motorcade through Hidalgo County, Texas, eventually stopping on a grassy bluff overlooking the Rio Grande. The White House wanted to dramatize what Trump was portraying as a national emergency: the need to build a wall along the Mexican border. The presence of armored vehicles, bales of confiscated marijuana, and federal agents in flak jackets underscored the message.
But the photo op dramatized something else about the Administration. After members of the press pool got out of vans and headed over to where the President was about to speak, they noticed that Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, was already on location. Unlike them, he hadn’t been confined by the Secret Service, and was mingling with Administration officials, at one point hugging Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security. The pool report noted that Hannity was seen “huddling” with the White House communications director, Bill Shine. After the photo op, Hannity had an exclusive on-air interview with Trump. Politico later reported that it was Hannity’s seventh interview with the President, and Fox’s forty-second. Since then, Trump has given Fox two more. He has granted only ten to the three other main television networks combined, and none to CNN, which he denounces as “fake news.”
Hannity was treated in Texas like a member of the Administration because he virtually is one. The same can be said of Fox’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch. Fox has long been a bane of liberals, but in the past two years many people who watch the network closely, including some Fox alumni, say that it has evolved into something that hasn’t existed before in the United States. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of Presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of “Messengers of the Right,” a history of the conservative media’s impact on American politics, says of Fox, “It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.”
trump  gov2.0  politics  fake_news  tv  conservative  propaganda 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: The Making of the Fox News White House
The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer went deep on the relationship between Fox News and Trump’s White House, and makes a compelling case that the line between the two organizations is almost comically blurred:
Fox has long been a bane of liberals, but in the past two years many people who watch the network closely, including some Fox alumni, say that it has evolved into something that hasn’t existed before in the United States. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of Presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of “Messengers of the Right,” a history of the conservative media’s impact on American politics, says of Fox, “It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.” […]
The White House and Fox interact so seamlessly that it can be hard to determine, during a particular news cycle, which one is following the other’s lead. All day long, Trump retweets claims made on the network; his press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has largely stopped holding press conferences, but she has made some thirty appearances on such shows as “Fox & Friends” and “Hannity.” Trump, Hemmer says, has “almost become a programmer.”
I still think Trump needs Fox News more than Fox News needs Trump, but ultimately Fox News is at the mercy of its audience. And its audience is crazy.
trump  gov2.0  politics  fake_news  tv  daring_fireball  conservative  propaganda  slanders 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194

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