Fake News & Propaganda

“Just as most soldiers believe bullets will hit only others, not themselves, most citizens like to think that their own minds and thought processes are invulnerable. ‘Other people can be manipulated, but not me,’ they declare.” — Margaret Singer, Ph.D.

Fake news and propaganda threaten our democracy and limit meaningful conversation.

The 9 Russian Words That Explain KremlinGate  It’s International Talk Like a Chekist Day—here’s a quick primer on kombinatsiya, konspiratsiya and more By  March 28, 2017

“ProvokatsiyaProvocation is complicated, but at its most basic involves secret acts to confuse and dismay your enemy. The recent antics of Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee—positing conflicting and unsubstantiated allegations of malfeasance by our spy agencies—are a classic provocation designed to divert attention from the White House as its Russia crisis mounts. Provokatsiya gets more complicated and nefarious from there, with the ultimate aim of turning the tables on your enemy and defeating him detail—before he realizes what’s happened.

Konspiratsiya (yes, conspiracy), the Russian term for what we call espionage tradecraft. This is the clandestine nuts and bolts of recruiting and running agents, placing targets under surveillance, running covert action and whatnot.

Kompromat (compromising material), which is used to coercively recruit people to spy for Russia—and to keep already recruited agents in line.

Dezinformatsiya (disinformation) is another Russian term once known only to espionage mavens but which, thanks to the events of 2016, now falls off the tongue of average citizens. Deza, as it’s called for short, is the original “fake news,” an alluring amalgam of fact and fantasy—much of it unverifiable—designed to confuse readers and shift political discussions. It was part of the KGB’s Cold War arsenal, when Chekists faked documents and disseminated lies through trusted Western journalists, in order to embarrass the West, especially NATO and the United States. Some of these vintage disinformation fables are still with us, despite being debunked decades ago.

Aktivniyye Meropriyatiya (Active Measures), which is a vital Chekist concept lacking a precise Western equivalent. It roughly aligns with our notion of political warfare, albeit with a highly clandestine side. The bureaucratically bland-sounding KGB definition of Active Measures covers a broad brush of nefarious spy-games.

Pushing disinformation is perhaps too easy these days, and now the FBI is investigating the Kremlin-to-far-right-websites deza loop which has become commonplace in America.”


A Brief History of How Fake News Spreads So Easily on Facebook  The Nation  

Intelligence has confirmed that Russian bots and thousands of human trolls have been paid to attack our democracy. Using the Mercer money and known Russian Intelligence front-funded Cambridge Data Analytics, board member Steve Bannon (Mercer-backed Breitbart News) and former Trump Campaign manager from March-August 2016 and foreign political strategist, Paul Manafort, tested each social media meme in sometimes 100,000+ variations to test, target and manipulate each voter on an individual basis using a minimum of 5,000 data points. The dedicated server in Trump Tower was sending data back and forth to Alfa Bank regarding the operation but also Spectrum Health, Betsy DeVos’s husband’s company. Russian hackers obtained the voter roll information and Sanders supporters were bombarded with fake news and trolls. Misogynist “Bernie Bros” are thought to have been Russian trolls in part. Even Jill Stein had dinner with Putin and Flynn in December 2015 in Moscow, presumably as an alternative candidate for Trump.

and the NPR interview with Buzzfeed’s fake news analyst

CNBC “Biggest Fake News Stories of 2016”

Unfortunately, our President gets his news from fake sources, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been a promoter, our Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has long been at the helm with Breitbart News, and Trump’s friend and loyalist, Robert Ailes, has gone down with Bill O’Reilly, Alex Jones, Milo, and others.

How Trump Gets His Fake News, Politico, Shane Goldmacher, May 15, 2017

The “fake but accurate” climate change news delivered to Trump? It’s fake all the way down. Vox David Roberts May 16, 2017

World War Meme: How a group of anonymous keyboard commandos conquered the internet for Donald Trump—and plans to deliver Europe to the far right.

Over 100 Macedonian fake news sites have been fueling the Right.

Vanity Fair compares Putin’s propaganda playbook to Trump’s

Here’s what the BBC has to say.…and their Fact-checking site

Dr. Noam Chomsky with Abby Martin: War, Imperialism and Propaganda

Rick Ross runs the Cult Education Institute and here are many links regarding mind control.

Why We Believe Obvious Untruths

Samantha Bee’s producers interviewed pro-Trump trolls in Russia

RISS/Russian Institute For Strategic Studies, released two strategic documents in June 2016 and October 2016. “Neither of the Russian institute documents mentioned the release of hacked Democratic Party emails to interfere with the U.S. election, according to four of the officials. The officials said the hacking was a covert intelligence operation run separately out of the Kremlin.”  Reuters
The June and October 2016 papers were written under Leonid Reshetnikov, who retired in January 2017, and was replaced by Mikhail Fradkov. “Fradkov headed Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence agency for nine years. Before that he served for three years as Russian prime minister.”  RISS Mikhail Fradkov is now “Almaz-Antey” Chairman of the Board of Directors RISS    On Jan. 31, the websites of Putin’s office [bit.ly/2os9wMr] and the institute [bit.ly/2oLn9Kd] posted a picture and transcript of Reshetnikov and his successor Fradkov meeting with Putin in the Kremlin.  Reuters

“Russia Today and Sputnik published anti-Clinton stories while pro-Kremlin bloggers prepared a Twitter campaign calling into question the fairness of an anticipated Clinton victory, according to a report by U.S. intelligence agencies on Russian interference in the election made public in January. [bit.ly/2kMiKSA]

Russia Today’s most popular Clinton video – “How 100% of the 2015 Clintons’ ‘charity’ went to … themselves” – accumulated 9 millions views on social media, according to the January report. [bit.ly/2os8wIt]

The report said Russia Today and Sputnik “consistently cast president elect-Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional media outlets.”

The report said the agencies did not assess whether Moscow’s effort had swung the outcome of the race in Trump’s favor, because American intelligence agencies do not “analyze U.S. political processes or U.S. public opinion.” [bit.ly/2kMiKSA]”  Reuters