Thursday, November 2, 2017

Russian Propaganda and Digital Democracy

It is clear from a deluge of news reports that Russian propagandists sought to exploit pre-existing schisms in American society around issues of race, immigration, gun rights, and identity politics.

It is not clear whether this effort had impact on the election, although the mainstream media is actively promoting the allegation that it contributed to a Trump win. For example:
Manu Raju, Dylan Byers and Dana Bash, CNN (October 4, 2017). Exclusive: Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin. CNN,, accessed November 2, 2017
Here is my favorite Russian propaganda message, a Bernie Sanders coloring book:

Colin Lecher (2017, November 1). Here are the Russia-linked Facebook ads released by Congress. The Verge, Accessed November 2, 2017:

The Russians seem a little late getting into the game given the CIA has been using this divide and conquer propaganda strategy for decades, particularly recently in Eastern Europe.

Of course, the real masters of propaganda are the corporate advertising and PR agents, whose propaganda research and deployments have been well documented:


I'm all for TRANSPARENCY in political advertising and believe that anonymity has fueled hate on the Internet.

That said, I've also argued that new efforts to police truth, especially through censoring algorithms, will have the effect of reinforcing, rather than undermining, the production and dissemination of partial and sectional truths in our global society

Transparency and critical reasoning, rather than censorship, are the way forward.


  1. I agree with that. Hillary will not admit she lost the election, because she is a corporate shill, a war-monger, and representative of the Other predators, The corporate democrats. The things Flynn and Manafort, others have done need to be invesigated.

  2. Hillary is upto her ears in alligators over the 145 million given to clinton foundation, in the uranium one deal.
    A case should be opened against her with donna braziles revelation of her rigging the democratic primary. Then maybe shell give up her totally unsubstatiated mcarthyite crap against people like majia and alternet as russian propaganda. What a piece of work. 
    The repugs and corporate democraps want to censor and have no democracy. In the meantime, hopefully, Mueller will get Flynn, and Trumps staff for doing backdoor deals for a dozen or more reactors, in the middle east too. The stuff Kushner and many others in on
    The scheme Trump and his aids hatched, with Russia to build and profit, from more than a dozen Russian built nuclear reactors in the powder keg middle east. The scheme was hatched, before he was even elected.

    Then there are the Six other indictable trump crimes. WOULD'NT IT BE NICE THE THEY COULD KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE, and send the two most despised Crooked-Politicians, in recent history, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to jail?
    And these things are the tip of the iceberg for Trump after a year in office.
    1. Jeff Sessions lied under oath,saying he never met with any Russian official during the Trump presidential campaign. He met the Russian ambassador twice. The GOP impeached Bill Clinton for perjury in what was a minor personal matter, but stand by Sessions despite his perjury regarding a matter of national security. Mueller should indict.
    2. Scott Pruitt met with the CEO of Dow Chemical last spring. Twenty days later, he decided not to ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide from being sprayed on food. The problem with chlorpyrifos is that it can have a negative impact on brain development in fetuses and small children.
    3. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke swung a $300 mn. contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid to a tiny company on the verge of bankruptcy with two employees, Whitefish, which happens to be based in Zinke’s home town. That is corruption pure and simple. Puerto Rico has annulled the contract, quite rightly.
    4. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also allegedly perjured himself when he denied that the company he headed, OneWest, engaged in robo-signing (backdating mortgage documents and forging them) even though there are substantial indications that the company did so. Mnuchin is the reincarnation of Ebenezer Scrooge. He actually made people homeless for being 27 cents behind on their mortgage. Now he is seeking one of the largest transfers of wealth to the US rich since the days of Andrew Carnegie.
    5. When he was Secretary of Health and Human Services and flying around on million dollar flights at taxpayer expense, Tom Price alsospent money earmarked by federal law for encouraging people to sign up for Obamacare on negative ads attempting to discourage them from doing so. Just because Price is out of office doesn’t mean he can’t be indicted. What could be lower than trying to take away people’s health care insurance?
    6. Despite promises that he would avoid investments that raised red flags about foreign influence while he was president, Trump is looking at deals in India. If the Indian government of PM Narendra Modi grants these licenses, worth a substantial amount of money, won’t that be an emolument of the sort banned by the constitution?

  3. very interesting Kendra:
    The scheme Trump and his aids hatched, with Russia to build and profit, from more than a dozen Russian built nuclear reactors in the powder keg middle east. The scheme was hatched, before he was even elected.


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