Washington Post Names Zero Hedge, & Ron Paul As “Sophisticated Russian Propaganda”
TDC Note – Not sure if I should be happy or disappointed for not making the list. Looks like I’m going to have to try a little harder!
The desperate flailing of a mainstream-media struggling through the five stages of grief continues as no lesser unbiased foundation of the fourth estate than The Washington Post pushes ahead with its “fake news, blame the Russians” narrative for why their candidate failed so miserably.
Citing “two teams of independent researchers” (who surely have a substantial libel litigation provision) who found “Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery… echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal,” the Jeff Bezos-owned website names The Anti-Media, Drudge, Zero Hedge, and The Ron Paul Institute and countless other outlets among the “useful idiots” that true American patriots should be wary of.
“The way that this propaganda apparatus supported Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” said the executive director of PropOrNot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity with the Post.
“It was like Russia was running a super PAC for Trump’s campaign.”
President Obama denounced the attention garnered by false information last week, saying: “If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not … if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.” And as The Hill reports, a sophisticated Russian propaganda effort helped fuel the spread of fake news during the election cycle, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
Two groups of independent researchers found that Russia employed thousands of botnets, human internet “trolls” and networks of Web sites and social media accounts to inject false content into online political talk and amplify posts from right-wing sites.
“They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests,” said Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who co-authored a report about Russian propaganda.
“This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media.”
The Washington Post states – without irony – that there are now scientific studies that show how the Russians influenced the 2016 election…
The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of Web sites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.
The report from PropOrNot, provided to the Post, identifies more than 200 websites that routinely pushed Russian propaganda to at least 15 million Americans, and found that false stories pushed on Facebook were viewed more than 213 million times. You may be surprised by some of the sites on the list (it seems even satirical fakes news sites are propagandists too)…