Russians Used Reddit Forums to Troll the 2016 Election

Discussion in 'Site Security & Legal Issues' started by Alfa1, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Moderator

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    Russian propagandists targeted the popular news-sharing website Reddit to influence American political debate, a US website has claimed.

    It had been widely presumed that Reddit, a hub for campaigning, activism and often extreme views, would be a logical target for any manipulation.

    It has yet to publish its own investigation into Russian activity.

    Now news site the Daily Beast says it has obtained files showing a Russian troll farm was active on Reddit.

    The Daily Beast says it has obtained leaked documents from within Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA), the country's most prominent troll-factory.

    The US government has already charged 13 Russians, linked to the agency, with attempting to manipulate American voters using social media.

    The Russian organisation is alleged to have had a budget of more than a million dollars, which the US claims was used to buy advertising on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

    So far, Reddit has not been included in the US Senate's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

    But some reports have suggested that could soon change.

    Influence
    The documents discovered by the Daily Beast are said to detail the Internet Research Agency's efforts on Reddit.

    The site says the agency employed "online agitators" to help posts from its own propaganda websites rise to the top of Reddit.

    It says the organisation used proxy servers to mask the location of its work.

    Also targeted were the Yahoo-owned blogging platform Tumblr, and the viral joke site 9gag.

    Read more:

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/russians-used-reddit-and-tumblr-to-troll-the-2016-election/
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43255285
     
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  2. Oedipus

    Oedipus Aspirant

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    Omg..I don't believe in this.
     
  3. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    While the Reddit participation might now only be a "claim" - I'm pretty sure it's been verified that Russian propagandists did influence the election outcome by targeting Facebook and Twitter. So - the Reddit involvement doesn't seem a stretch. Sadly. And as a result = The bizarre buffoon that's currently occupying the office. :(

    Asked what would be the reason for Russia to support Trump over Clinton?
    Interesting vid I saw the other day:



    Intriguing...

    J.
     
  4. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Twitter just a few days ago purged 1000s of fake/bot accounts leading to headlines like:
    Conservative Twitter accounts complain of lost followers in apparent bot purge
    Conservatives Melt Down As Twitter Annihilates Fake Accounts
    Twitter Followers Vanish Amid Inquiries Into Fake Accounts

    It seems that apparently the bulk of fake accounts were associated with conservative political themed accounts :eek:

    J.
     
  5. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    This is probably going to appear naive to some and offensive to others but so what? If people's voting intentions are influenced by that kind of social media they really only have themselves to blame if they put a lemon on the throne.
     
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  6. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    This isn't surprising to me at all. The Donald (a subreddit on reddit, for those who are unaware, not a direct attack on the president) has been a cesspool and source of vote manipulation for years. They (the reddit admins) vehemently defended it under the precursor of free speech blah de blah and now look where we are.

    I feel we're only reaching the tip of the iceberg in terms of the manipulation of the western world from Russia and the likes over the last few years. They saw their opportunity to create influence and did so incredibly effectively.

    There has been no controls or checks over what goes on through the ad platforms of these major social media sites and with the power of quite menial amounts of money in the grand scheme of things they've managed to covertly massively influence a huge number minds in the western world. It's cheaper and smarter and far less obvious than normal rules of engagement, and even better we didn't even realise we were under attack until recently. It's the ability to buy propaganda with your credit card.

    They're creating and promoting divisive content, and it's working. They're paying to drive impressions of their propaganda all over the net. It's actually quite impressive. There's even a few interesting theories explaining how deep the Russian ties may lead to the financing and internal structure of facebook.

    All this new info concerns me more than ever after seeing the strange presidential candidate like behaviour of mark the last few years. There's even rumors that members of the IRA (internet research agency, not the other IRA), have made it over to the US as full time facebook employees.

    It's like I'm watching an episode of The Americans in 2018, it's bloody mental.
     
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  7. Matthew S

    Matthew S Adherent

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    Not did. The words you are looking for are attempted to. Did they influence your vote? How can you be sure they influenced any votes?

    Remember the golden rule: Correlation does not equal causation. :tup:

    And just on the general "attempting to influence" theme. It's not just foreign powers, it's the media themselves. Pick your poison: Fox, CNN, NY Times, The Guardian, etc. They all have an agenda to push. Who is to say who is better or worse? Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

    There are many of us that would enjoy a debate with you on this, but the site rules require us to show restraint. Can you please do the same? :)
     
  8. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Um... No! My vote was not influenced. Unlike some naive idiots - I didn't believe the bull**** that was circulated - and I most certainly didn't believe the hype of this nationalistic, hateful rhetoric and ridiculously biased policy that the GOP has at the top of their agenda. And please don't get me confused with some bloody pinko commie faggot liberal who engages in partisan politics. I've voted GOP many times actually. More than I like to admit actually... But I vote on ideals. The GOP simply doesn't represent my current ideals - so no. My vote was not influenced by the BS.

    Oh! I truly enjoy a good political debate. It's a shame that we aren't allowed to do that here. And this thread will likely be locked. Sad. But whatever.
    And please believe me when I say that I am currently showing restraint. Simply because you disagree with what I've stated = does not at all define my opinion as unrestrained. I simply will not water my opinion down and I certainly will not repress them as you've suggested. Thanks.

    J.
     
  9. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Brilliant observation R0binHoodR0binHood.
    And yes indeed. It's magnificently impressive. About as impressive as the campaign Trump ran, which inevitably lead to him being seated in the White House. It was pure genius on both ends. And it's horrifically frightening that so many buy into the myriad of untruths being circulated.

    J.
     
  10. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Apologies for the multiple posts - but I meant to comment this particular statement Matthew SMatthew S

    You are absolutely right. Everyone has an agenda. And indeed I have done research and have my own conclusions. I would advise that everyone take your advise and do the same! And brilliant question as for which "poison" is more deadly! Obviously you already know my answer to the question LOL

    J.
     
  11. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

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    I think we should all be entitled to state descriptive words concerning any public figure, as our own opinion, without that leading to any kind of debate. If people wish to deride or praise in their use of descriptors, then so be it. So long as the language used doesn't violate site policy for profanity, etc.
     
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  12. Matthew S

    Matthew S Adherent

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    Firstly, friends can disagree and still be friends! :tup:

    I absolutely appreciate that, for you, that was restraint. But you don't leave much wiggle room for response without crossing the line that has been drawn regarding political debate on TAZ. This discussion of media and foreign influence in our democracies (same thing happens here in Australia) is an important one. I'm just trying to politely request that you don't throw bait comments out so that we can continue to have it. :)


    If I state that Justin Bieber and his fans are cretins, that is unlikely to spark a debate that is against TAZ policy. Political figures on the other hand are polarising and may find disagreement. Baiting other users is a form of trolling, and I'm fairly certain that is against TAZ policy. :tup:

    A healthy discussion doesn't start by calling people names.
     
  13. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    I just hope he doesn't mouth off to his best bud Vlad and take the next 7 years away from all of us...
     
  14. Matthew S

    Matthew S Adherent

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    It's all good, Jacquii. I mean, it could be worse - the other candidate may have won. :whistle:

    Really, we should all be just as concerned about the caliber of candidate that is presented to us as we are about external attempts to influence results. Australia is in a similar position where the citizens basically hate all politicians equally. It reminds me of the South Park episode where the candidates were a turd sandwich and a giant douche. It doesn't matter which way you vote, you lose. Down Under, we can't even show our disdain by withholding our vote. Elections are basically won by the candidates people dislike the least, rather than by those that people want to lead them.
     
  15. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Moderator

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    I wonder how long it will take until Russian Trolling on major traditional forums is exposed.
     
  16. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    Sorry to bring this back on topic, but as a non-American, I don't understand the whole issue of this.
     
  17. Pete

    Pete Flavours of Forums Forever

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    Theory is that they interfered with the election, buying ads etc. so they would get someone in power that was sympathetic to their cause - note how pro-Russia Trump seems to be at times. This is somewhat different from previous leaders.
     
  18. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Moderator

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    Democracy is based upon crowd votes. AFAIK a large share of the electorate do not actually know what they are voting for or what the exact political program is that they are voting for.
    Social Media is essentially the science of manipulating crowd behavior and building the optimal tools for this. Its quite clear that social media is addictive (as its intended to be) and compels people to behave differently in that sense. its built to keep the user online for optimal monetizing.
    The question is probably if social media trolling combined with big data can essentially win an election.

    My best guess is that it probably can. I find it an interesting phenomenon.
     
  19. Sal Collaziano

    Sal Collaziano Womanizer

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    I waste minimal time in any discussion about other countries meddling in our elections when our own mainstream media does it and half the country doesn't seem to care.
     
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