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Pompeo Affirms, Reluctantly, That Russia Tried to Help Trump Win by FullmetalGameMaster in worldnews

[–]PoppinKREAM 4922 points4923 points x2 (0 children)

Piggybacking off your comment as I want to summarize Russia's role during the 2016 election and their continued online disinformation campaign as they attempt to sow confusion and division among people who live in Western democratic nations;

Example 1 - 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

A quick summary of Special Counsel Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians and 3 Russian entities;[1] Russian operatives used stolen US identities, traveled across 9 states collecting intelligence, discussed escape routes if they were caught inside the country, bought equipment including burner phones/SIM cards. This operation included hundreds of employees conducting information warfare during the election, it was funded with millions of dollars from the Kremlin. Russia was and is actively pushing propaganda and fake news to create a system that manipulates the narrative using social media sites as conduits for this endeavour. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein put it best when he said that Russia was waging information warfare.[2]

Russia's geo-political aim is to weaken the West through destabilization by sowing division among the population.[3] Russian operatives used social media to exploit racial and religious divisions during the 2016 election.[4] Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee released 3500 Facebook ads that were created by the Internet Research Agency, Russia specifically targeted racial tensions in America.[5]

  • Divisive racial ad buys averaged about 44 per month from 2015 through the summer of 2016 before seeing a significant increase in the run-up to Election Day. Between September and November 2016, the number of race-related spots rose to 400. An additional 900 were posted after the November election through May 2017.

Example 2 - Parkland School Shooting

Russia has been using social media sites as conduits to promote disinformation creating a system that manipulates the narrative. Russia has promoted disinformation campaigns to destabilize the West for quite some time[6] - there is a historical precedence on the matter.[7] A recent example would be the online aftermath of the Parkland school shooting tragedy. Russian bots flooded social media to sow discord by taking both sides of the gun control issue. They're stoking political divisions across western nations.[8]

The bots are “going to find any contentious issue, and instead of making it an opportunity for compromise and negotiation, they turn it into an unsolvable issue bubbling with frustration,” said Karen North, a social media professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. “It just heightens that frustration and anger.”

...When the Russian bots jumped on the hashtag #Parklandshooting — initially created to spread news of the shooting — they quickly stoked tensions. Exploiting the issue of mental illness in the gun control debate, they propagated the notion that Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman, was a mentally ill “lone killer.” They also claimed that he had searched for Arabic phrases on Google before the shooting. Simultaneously, the bots started other hashtags, like #ar15, for the semiautomatic rifle used in the shooting, and #NRA.

Example 3 - Ukraine Conflict

This is the GRU modus operandi, we all saw the disinformation campaign to sow division during the Ukrainian conflict and their subsequent invasion of Crimea, they drummed up the disinformation campaign by promoting fake news depicting the Ukrainian government as fascists.[9]

Pretending to be ordinary Ukrainians, GRU operatives also tapped out comments aimed at riling up pro-Russian citizens against the protesters, whom they called “zapadentsy” — or “westerners.” One comment read: “Brigades of zapadentsy are now on their way to rob and kill us. It is very clear that these people hold nothing sacred.’’

...On Feb. 27, when the Crimean parliament building was seized, the GRU created four groups on Facebook and VK to encourage Crimeans to support secession from Ukraine. “Using our accounts on Facebook, we circulated commentaries informing the population of the Crimean peninsula of a threat from Nazi organizations,” the GRU reported.

The International Criminal Court declared Russia's invasion of Ukraine a crime.[10] We can't forget the consequences of this conflict in Ukraine, including Russia's role in the 298 deaths from a commercial airliner that was shot down over Ukraine.[11] The European Commission has warned that Russia has been very successful at spreading disinformation across the European Union.[12]

Final Thoughts

Russia is actively trying to divide the West and has been for quite some time, be aware that they use inflammatory language online and promote disinformation.[13] It can be frustrating when talking to those who share a different set of beliefs, but we should attempt to find common ground with those who believe in the pillars that make Western democracy so great - equity, representation, freedom, and justice. Yes there are institutional problems that need to be addressed and ultimately fixed and there are different views on how we can come to a solution on these institutional problems. But as it stands right now Western democracy and society is under assault and we must work together by staying informed and exercising our constitutional duty by voting in elections in our respective countries.


1) Justice Department - indictments against 13 Russian nationals and 3 entities

2) PBS - WATCH: Rosenstein says 13 Russian nationals committed ‘information warfare against the United States’

3) Wikipedia - Foundations of Geopolitics

4) Washington Post - Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit America’s racial and religious divisions

5) USA Today - We read every one of the 3,517 Facebook ads bought by Russians. Here's what we found

6) The Economist - Russian disinformation distorts American and European democracy

7) New York Times - Fingerprints of Russian Disinformation: From AIDS to Fake News

8) New York Times - After Florida School Shooting, Russian ‘Bot’ Army Pounced

9) Washington Post - Inside a Russian disinformation campaign in Ukraine in 2014

10) Forbes - International Criminal Court: Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine Is A 'Crime,' Not A Civil War

11) New York Times - Dutch Inquiry Links Russia to 298 Deaths in Explosion of Jetliner Over Ukraine

12) The Independent - Russian disinformation campaign has been ‘extremely successful’ in Europe, warns EU

13) NPR - Russians Targeted U.S. Racial Divisions Long Before 2016 And Black Lives Matter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk blasts media, pitches site to rate journalists: 'No one believes you' by Ca_Logistician in worldnews

[–]Cyclone_1 204 points205 points  (0 children)

Space Jesus hates labor unions and is stomping his feet because some people aren't impressed with his jerking it to colonizing other planets when he can't even agree that workers deserve more/better right here.

Kim Jong Un is reportedly worried that a military coup could take place while he's in Singapore by Kim_Woo in worldnews

[–]RattledSabre 672 points673 points  (0 children)

It's a natural assumption to think that the truth is in the middle, but that train of thought is actually a logical fallacy.

Acceptance that one does not have any reliable way to find the truth is a valid position!

Pompeo Affirms, Reluctantly, That Russia Tried to Help Trump Win by FullmetalGameMaster in worldnews

[–]PoppinKREAM 1040 points1041 points  (0 children)

That would be interesting! But I haven't gone out of my way to reach out to any publications as my background is anthropology and not journalism. After years of university writing papers I'm quite accustomed to sourcing every claim I make. This always comes up so I might as well explain a little about myself;

I'm Canadian and my field of study is anthropology while my current line of work is sports related. I'm a concerned global citizen who cares for the well-being of Western democracy, who wishes to uphold the pillars I firmly believe make western democracy so great - equity, representation, justice, and freedom. My field of work is sports related so my hours are very flexible. During the day I work behind a computer conducting analysis, evenings I'm outdoors developing athletes, and on weekends I'm usually traveling due to work.

Thanks for the kind words but I simply condense, summarize, contextualize, and present known information. I'm a bit of a political junkie so I keep tabs on everything I read. I was tired of seeing disinformation online being perpetuated so I decided to take the initiative to make a small difference by attempting to raise the level of discourse. I think its important to question the veracity of every claim we read online, its why I firmly believe in sourcing claims. You shouldn't fear for my well-being, I'm fine. I very much doubt anything bad will happen, but I try to keep some of my personal details obscure just in case. At the end of the day I will stand up for Western democracy in the face of adversity, whatever that adversity may be. Thanks again for taking the time to read my comments and for the incredibly kind words. Hope you have an awesome day/night!

Trump calls Canada 'very spoiled,' 'difficult to deal with' on NAFTA, but says "in the end we win, we will win and we’ll win big" by PopeSaintHilarius in worldnews

[–]varro-reatinus 445 points446 points  (0 children)

It's the very core of Teddy Roosevelt's "Speak softly but carry a big stick" quote.

Trump's foreign policy seems to be 'Scream at everyone and carry a limp dick'.

Israel Refuses to Cooperate with UN Commission of Inquiry on Gaza by Britishthrowaway1812 in worldnews

[–]yuropperson 65 points66 points  (0 children)

Didn't just issue more condemnations against Israel than any other country - more than Syria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and so on. It literally issued as many condemnations of Israel as all of those countries combined.

To be fair, Israel does a lot more shit.

In the meantime: Whataboutism isn't an argument. Israel deserves all condemnation it gets. If you think other countries don't get enough condemnation: Go and make it happen.

Has a permanent agenda item to discuss Israeli violations in every session. No other country has such an item.

Well, if it isn't being dealt with it needs to be brought up again.

Where are US sanctions against Israel for its illegal annexations? Should be at least on the scale of sanctions levied against Russia, correct?

Has the only special rapporteur without a year of expiry. One that's usually handpicked from the worst of anti-Israeli activists.

How do you define "anti-Israeli"? Of course the Special Rapporteur dealing with the human rights violations of Israel will be someone who is aware and wants to fight the human rights violations of Israel. That's not being anti-Israel. It's anti-crime.

The office is currently held by Michael Lynk. A Canadian:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/CountriesMandates/PS/Pages/SRPalestine.aspx

Of course, Israel's apologists never tire to spread propaganda against these Special Rapporteurs, calling them anti-semitic for literally any reason (as, according to their feelings, criticizing Israel itself is anti-semitic).

During its first year, it couldn't even condemn the Darfur genocide, opting to merely "express concern". Nor would it condemn any other country. Except for Israel, that was condemned eleven times.

Great. Israel has been committing violations for generations and many things aren't condemned immediately, either and even obvious violations committed by Israel keep being debated for years after years. Seems like the Darfur genocide is being treated unfairly being condemned so early and clearly without much debate and Israel has some special privilege where it can keep challenging condemnation for even the most ridiculous crimes it commits.

Was criticized for their intense anti-Israeli obsession by both former Secretary Generals, and even the Human Rights Watch.

Again: The criticism against Israel is entirely justified. The bias - if anything - is expressed by the UN being biased in favour of others. You need to put more elbow grease into condemning the others, then!

Already decided the results of the investigation, in the very resolution that calls for its creation, condemning the "disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, including in the context of peaceful protests, particularly in the Gaza Strip, in violation of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and relevant United Nations resolutions". Yeah. It's quite obvious what happened.

The question isn't "Did Israel do something wrong?" as it's already conclusively answered. Innocent people are dead. People simply want to see the true extent of the crime so Israel can be properly condemned and actions can be taken.

Needless to say, Hamas is not even mentioned in this resolution.

Who cares about Hamas?

So yeah, it's not a big shock Israel wouldn't cooperate with something like that.

Of course it isn't. Israel is guilty and doesn't like to hear it.

Robot submarine finds "holy grail of shipwrecks" with up to $17 billion in treasure by spsheridan in worldnews

[–]d-Loop 2488 points2489 points  (0 children)

I heard it was on a small island in Nova Scotia... but be warned, that island is cursed.

Israel Refuses to Cooperate with UN Commission of Inquiry on Gaza by Britishthrowaway1812 in worldnews

[–]nidarus 150 points151 points  (0 children)

I mean, you're right: it's absolutely not surprising. The UNHRC is a body that:

  1. Didn't just issue more condemnations against Israel than any other country - more than Syria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and so on. It literally issued as many condemnations of Israel as all of those countries combined.

  2. Has a permanent agenda item to discuss Israeli violations in every session. No other country has such an item.

  3. Has the only special rapporteur without a year of expiry. One that's usually handpicked from the worst of anti-Israeli activists. Like Richard Falk, who even the Palestinian Authority initially had issues with, because he was a "partisan of Hamas".

  4. During its first year, it couldn't even condemn the Darfur genocide, opting to merely "express concern". Nor would it condemn any other country. Except for Israel, that was condemned eleven times.

  5. Was criticized for their intense anti-Israeli obsession by both former Secretary Generals, and even the Human Rights Watch.

  6. Already decided the results of the investigation, in the very resolution that calls for its creation, condemning the "disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, including in the context of peaceful protests, particularly in the Gaza Strip, in violation of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and relevant United Nations resolutions". Needless to say, Hamas is not even mentioned in this resolution.

So yeah, it's not a big shock Israel wouldn't cooperate with something like that.

Kim Jong Un is reportedly worried that a military coup could take place while he's in Singapore by Kim_Woo in worldnews

[–]Sonicmansuperb 40 points41 points  (0 children)

but a good man would have made positive efforts and Un is not a good man.

You know, I really hate what the Kim regime has done to its people(what with the crimes against humanity and what not) but that's a gross over simplification. If you had the opportunity to be something greater, to do the right thing that you know in your heart is moral, should you make a grand move that risks nothing being achieved, if not worsening of the situation along with your death? Or do you work slowly, calculating each step along the way to do everything you can to ensure that your goal is reached? Kim Jong-Un may currently be one of the many responsible for the actions of the regime and its undeniable cruelty, but if he guides his country successfully into allowing the people to be free to express their views, to become a country where starvation is no longer a regular occurrence, and the people can dictate the course of the nation going forward, then in my mind at least, he would deserve to be forgiven of the crimes that he may be possibly responsible for. As he did not choose to be in the position that he is in, but inherited it from megalomaniacs that were his father and grandfather. Should the sins of the father be passed on to the son? Only if the son decides to continue the immoral actions that the father did to continue maintaining his own position.

Kim Jong Un is reportedly worried that a military coup could take place while he's in Singapore by Kim_Woo in worldnews

[–]SettleDownButtercup 4050 points4051 points  (0 children)

Trump wants to be seen with Kim to legitimize himself as a world leader instead of a 3rd world dictator.

Kim Jong Un is reportedly worried that a military coup could take place while he's in Singapore by Kim_Woo in worldnews

[–]-MIB- 217 points218 points  (0 children)

VRchat, both have to make their own characters to see who has more of a bloated ego, knuckles army there to defuse the situation in case the talks get heavy

Kim Jong Un is reportedly worried that a military coup could take place while he's in Singapore by Kim_Woo in worldnews

[–]TypicalExcuse 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Did I say "me too, thanks!"? I meant to say ICQ. Yeah, ICQ is still around. 31343296. Add me.

Special Counsel’s team has asked about flows of money into the Cyprus bank account of a company that specialized in social-media manipulation and whose founder reportedly met with Donald Trump Jr. in August 2016 by singularfate in worldnews

[–]bmanCO 2470 points2471 points x2 (0 children)

What's more plausible, the department of justice is engaged in a massive, multi-agency conspiracy being orchestrated by lifelong Republican civil servants to frame the president, or a bunch of sleazy political amateurs specializing in real estate scams accepted foreign assistance to win an election because they were too stupid to know or care it was a crime? Nah, the Trump family is clearly too intelligent to accept foreign assistance and bribes, so the only possible conclusion is that the Deep StateTM is out to get all of them and life is just so unfair for poor Donald. It's probably all Hillary's fault TBH.

Special Counsel’s team has asked about flows of money into the Cyprus bank account of a company that specialized in social-media manipulation and whose founder reportedly met with Donald Trump Jr. in August 2016 by singularfate in worldnews

[–]bearrosaurus 1030 points1031 points  (0 children)

It's hard for me to take in information that isn't presented in the form of 6-part angry Twitter rants describing how the user is oppressed by the deputy Attorney General and FBI Director that he himself appointed.