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BREAKING: Fake news CNN discovers Russian video game “Hilltendo” tricked 60 million Americans to vote Trump (Video)

CNN finally caught Russians swaying millions of US voters with this 3-level game.

Alex Christoforou

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CNN has blown the Trump-Russia 2016 election collusion doors wide open with undeniable proof of how the Russians convinced over 60 million Americans to vote Trump in 2016.

Aside from using 13 Russian bots on twitter working convince Americans to vote Trump, CNN is now reporting that the Kremlin also engineered a “Crooked” Hillary video game (“not playable on smartphones”) which had the awesome power to magically change voters’ minds during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

RT reports on the effects the game called “Hilltendo” had on the unsuspecting American voting public…

CNN’s crackerjack reporters have discovered that Russians created an anti-Hillary Clinton video game called “Hilltendo” and then tried to make it go viral in the weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Fake news CNN reports

On the surface, it looks like a silly, Flash-based game of the sort that populated the internet for years. Yet Hilltendo appears to be more sophisticated than that. In fact, it may indicate an intent to zero in on the people who played the game, track their behavior on social media, and hit them later with micro-targeted advertisements, according to several website programmers and cybersecurity experts who viewed the code at CNN’s request.

The evidence is embedded in the website’s code, internet records, the methodical campaign to make Hilltendo gain popularity online, and a Russian software developer’s ties to the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency.

Jonathon Morgan, whose company New Knowledge tracks the spread of misinformation online, said the game is an example of how sophisticated and expansive Russian propaganda is and why it’s difficult for any one social media platform to solve the problem.

The game consisted of three levels, starting with this one: “Help Hillary delete as many classified emails as possible before she is caught.” Players controlled a Hillary Clinton character who sits on a missile and eliminates emails, all while avoiding FBI agents.

The next level asked: “How much money can Hillary get from the Arab states?” At the top of the screen, nations’ flags drop money. At the bottom, the Clinton character holds a basket to collect the cash as it falls.

The final level challenged users to “Help Hillary throw the Constitution as far as possible,” and it included caricatures of then-President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

The game’s website had Facebook and Google tracking software embedded on it. This software would have made it possible for the game’s creators to identify people who played the game and later target them with advertising elsewhere on the Web, including on Facebook, potentially to direct them to disinformation campaigns.

Hilltendo would have been a relatively simple game to build, said Brian Moore, a New York-based developer who built the viral anti-Republican video game “GOP Arcade.”

“You could get this out in as quickly as 12 hours. It’s a very simple game. They could have found a template to build the game on. The animations are pretty stock. It’s not anything too insane,” he told CNN. “The art is the hardest part. It’s pretty polished.”

How did fake news CNN connect the dots from the video game to Russia…

Hilltendo.com, like any website, is kept online by a computer network with an Internet Protocol address. Many websites can be randomly grouped together on the same IP address — 17 different websites that have nothing to do with anti-American Russian activity once had the IP address eventually used by Hilltendo.

But records examined by cybersecurity expert Paul Vixie and CNN appear to show that, beginning in May 2016, the hosting company dedicated this IP address to a single client. From that point on, the only new websites assigned to that address were Hilltendo.com, PlayWithHillary.com, and BlackFist.pro. BlackFist.pro has previously been shown to have been run by the Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin-linked corporation indicted by U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller last month.

There are further signs of the websites’ connections to each other and to Russians.

PlayWithHillary.com and Hilltendo.com were registered on the same day: September 9, 2016. Anonymized records of internet traffic obtained by CNN show that both websites were first connected to just hours apart, possibly by the administrator of the sites testing them. Those records were collected by Vixie, one of the world’s top experts on Domain Name Server records, the system that serves as the internet’s phone book.

It is still theoretically possible that the three websites are unconnected to each other. But Vixie noted that this would be an astounding coincidence: Two different people registering similar domain names on the same day with the same web hosting provider, and assigned the same IP address.

“I don’t see that happening,” he said.

And there’s one more clue on top of that. The identity of the person who registered Hilltendo.com is kept hidden by a corporate proxy — a common tactic used by everyday people seeking privacy online. But the registration information for PlayWithHillary.com is public. It lists someone named Aleksandr Skripnikov in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the Internet Research Agency is based.

CNN also documented how mentions of “Hilltendo” made their way across the internet.

The game does not appear to have been shared widely on Twitter. Only two dozen or so links to the game were still live on Wednesday. One person who did share the game on Twitter, however, appears to be a Russian software developer living in St. Petersburg with two ties to the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency.

The Twitter user @MetalRex101, who self-identified as Ilya Ibragimov, created an account there the month Hilltendo went live. When CNN viewed the account last year, it included only two tweets — both linking to Hilltendo, both sent just days after the game was released. The @MetalRex101 account has since been suspended. Twitter would not say why it was taken down, but it has purged thousands of Russian accounts tied to U.S. election meddling.

Ibragimov uses the “MetalRex101” identity on various online services, and he lists his job history on the Russian social media platform VKontakte. In 2016, according to his VKontakte profile, Ibragimov worked at Glavset — a company based in the building where the Internet Research Agency operated: 55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg.

In 2014, Ibragimov’s VKontakte profile says, he worked at another St. Petersburg firm, Morkov. Morkov is run by Sergey Polozov, according to Polozov’s own VKontakte account and Russian company records. Polozov was one of the 13 Russian nationals named in Mueller’s indictment of the Internet Research Agency last month.

According to the indictment, Polozov worked for the Internet Research Agency from 2014 to 2016, serving as the manager of its IT department. Part of his role, the indictment claims, was to procure U.S. servers and other computer infrastructure in an attempt to mask the agency’s Russian origins.

CNN has reached out to Polozov and Ibragimov for comment.

Efforts to promote the game appear to have been focused primarily on the online image sharing website Imgur. It is the 14th most popular website in the United States, according to the online audience tracker Alexa — ahead of sites like Pinterest, CNN, and The New York Times.

In September 2016, just days after the Hilltendo.com website was registered, two Imgur accounts, both only weeks old, posted lists of video games to “kill your time.” Both of the posts went viral on the platform and were viewed more than 700,000 times; one even made it to Imgur’s coveted front page.

The pair’s posts have since been removed by the company. But back in September 2016, they were highlighted by Imgur staff in a weekly blog post about the top performing posts on the platform.

CNN reviewed these accounts last fall. Both had telltale signs of sham marketing campaigns.

Months after these posts were made, CNN spoke to several Imgur users who were bothered by them. Daniel Lupton, an actuary in Minnesota, said that when he first saw them he thought, “This doesn’t make sense. It feels all fake. It feels manufactured.”

In a statement to CNN, Imgur said: “We have been actively investigating how our platform may have been used by foreign actors. We plan to proactively share what we have learned with authorities and investigators.” The company said it has not been contacted by Mueller’s team or congressional investigators.

A link to the game was also posted to Voat, a platform that markets itself as an alternative to Reddit. There, the game was posted by user “Peter_Hurst.” Hurst posted to Voat almost 200 times in the two months between July and September 2016.

Dozens of Hurst’s posts linked to articles on DoNotShoot.us and BlackMattersUS.com, two websites CNN confirmed were part of a Russia’s effort to interfere in American politics. The account is still on the platform but has not posted since 2016.

On Reddit, a “Peter_Hurst” account also regularly posted links to Internet Research Agency websites, CNN found.

Reddit said the Peter_Hurst account was suspended in 2016 for spam, but did not provide any further details.

In a post on the platform on Monday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said that the company is investigating the spread of Russian propaganda on its platform and is cooperating with congressional investigators.

In a statement, U.S. Senator Mark Warner, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, said that he would encourage Reddit and other sites “to take a much closer look at how their platforms and services could be used to manipulate their users’ trust and attention.”

Hilltendo does not appear to have achieved virality on Facebook or Twitter, perhaps in part because it was not playable on smartphones. It was only available on desktop and laptop computers.

The game is no longer online, but numbers previously displayed on the site claimed the game was played almost 19,000 times.

In the process of investigating the game’s origins, CNN downloaded the Hilltendo video game’s computer code. We reviewed every line of code and received help from Amanda Rousseau, senior malware researcher at the cybersecurity company Endgame. Buried within the thousands of lines of code were mentions of “kek kek,” online slang predominantly used by alt-right trolls to represent laughter.

You can’t make this stuff up!

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New Zealand weapons ban dream move of leftist activists

The American left is sure to pick this up and start screaming for an “assault weapons ban” because this supports their agenda so well.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Reuters reported on Thursday, March 21 that the Prime Minister of New Zealand enacted a sweeping change, banning weapons of the type that were used in the massacre of at least fifty Muslims, who were gunned down on livestream while in Friday prayer services in Christchurch last week. We quote from the Reuters piece below, with added emphasis:

New Zealand will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws following the killing of 50 people in its worst mass shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday.

In the immediate aftermath of last Friday’s shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, Ardern labeled the attack as terrorism and said New Zealand’s gun laws would change.

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place,” Ardern told a news conference.

“All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned.”

Ardern said she expected the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme costing up to NZ$200 million ($138 million) would be established for banned weapons.

All military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles would be banned, along with parts used to convert weapons into MSSAs and all high-capacity magazines.

Australia banned semi-automatic weapons and launched a gun buy-back after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 in which 35 people were killed.

Ardern said that similar to Australia, the law would allow for strictly enforced exemptions for farmers for pest control and animal welfare.

“I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride.”

This is undoubtedly going to be real red meat (or perhaps real vegetables) for the anti-gun lobby in the United States. This is because New Zealand strongly resembled the US in terms of firearm rights and the penetration of numbers of guns in the populace of this remote island nation. Reuters continues, with statements that would probably surprise, even horrify some gun owners in the States, but which are doubtlessly useful for the application of pressure on such individuals:

New Zealand, a country of fewer than 5 million people, has an estimated 1.2-1.5 million firearms, about 13,500 of them MSSA-type weapons.

Most farmers own guns while hunting of deer, pigs and goats is popular. Gun clubs and shooting ranges dot the country.

That has created a powerful lobby that has thwarted previous attempts to tighten gun laws.

Federated Farmers, which represent thousands of farmers, said it supported the new laws.

“This will not be popular among some of our members but … we believe this is the only practicable solution,” a group spokesman, Miles Anderson, said in a statement.

The main opposition National Party, which draws strong support in rural areas, said it also supported the ban.

The changes exclude two general classes of firearms commonly used for hunting, pest control and stock management on farms.

“I have a military style weapon. But to be fair, I don’t really use it, I don’t really need it,” said Noel Womersley, who slaughters cpoliticalattle for small farmers around Christchurch.

“So I’m quite happy to hand mine over.”

To be absolutely fair, the attack on the mosques was an awful event, made the worse by the shooter’s deliberate attempts to politicize various aspects of what he was doing and what he “stood for” as an attack ostensibly against US President Donald Trump, some seven thousand miles away in the United States.

The immediate reaction of the people interviewed, some among them related or friends with the victims of the massacre, was to embrace the weapons reform laws:

Nada Tawfeek, who buried her father-in-law killed in the attacks, Hussein Moustafa, on Thursday, welcomed the ban.

“It’s a great reaction. I think other countries need to learn from her [Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern],” Tawfeek said.

Mohammed Faqih, a member of the Islamic clergy who flew in from California and attended the funerals for some victims on Thursday, said he was “extremely grateful” for the gun ban.

“I wish our leaders in the States would follow on her footsteps and do the same thing,” he said.

One can expect there to be quite the outcry among American liberals about gun control, especially if anything remotely resembling this event takes place or is thwarted in coming days in the US.

It may seem very cold and cruel to focus on the political angle of this story rather than the human tragedy that it is. However, in this situation we have seen signs that the most vile form of human tragedy has actually taken place – the murder of dozens of innocent people for a mere political point. Indeed this thought has been noted and vilified already, as Mr. R.X. Dentith, writing for the New Zealand website Spinoff here quoted:

American paleo-conservative Rush Limbaugh was one of the first to note: “There’s an ongoing theory that the shooter himself may, in fact, be a leftist who writes the manifesto and then goes out and performs the deed purposely to smear his political enemies, knowing he’s going to get shot in the process. You know you just can’t – you can’t immediately discount this. The left is this insane, they are this crazy. And then if that’s exactly what the guy is trying to do then he’s hit a home run, because right there on Fox News: ‘Shooter is an admitted white nationalist who hates immigrants.’”

…[P]eople like Limbaugh… can’t stomach the idea the terrorist action in Otautahi might be motivated by the kind of rhetoric Limbaugh helps disseminate – tend to think there is a culture war going on, and they are on the losing side.

This war has many names, and the enemy is easily identified: it is the battle against Cultural Marxism; the fight against Toxic Feminism; the resistance to Identity Politics; and the fear of the Great Replacement, the thesis at the heart of the terrorist’s own manifesto.

The Great Replacement thesis posits that the majority white European countries are being “invaded” by non-white, non-European peoples. Not just that, but due to declining birth rates in the West, this “invasion” constitutes a wholesale replacement of the white population over time.

Mr. Dentith tries further to knock down this notion of the Great Replacement. However, he misses a much more basic point.

Someone who goes and takes human lives and broadcasts them for any reason is not a mere political operative. The person who does this is a very sick, deranged human being indeed. Evil is certainly appropriately used here.

However, evil is often quite cunning, and despite the intellectual arguments about the reality or non-reality of any particular manifesto statement, in this case, the killer played the media with infernal intelligence, and they took the bait. It is possible that Prime Minister Ardern also took the bait, in this most awful of bad situations, and to give her credit, she took swift actions to try to “correct” what was wrong.

But the problem here was not the type of weapons used. The problem is the fact that they were used by a person who thought these fifty people’s lives were worth nothing more than a bit of policy change. One of the worst examples of human evil in recent times, this incident shouts to the world that there is a problem, but the problem remains unsolved, even though many people will hand over their firearms out of a genuine wish for compassion to those lost and the hope that somehow this action will prevent a future incident.

But the logic of this emotional reaction is nil. And what is worse is that the American Left knows this, but does not care. The movers and shakers of liberalism will likely milk the actions of sincerely horrified New Zealanders for all they are worth to try at affecting change in American constitutional rights.

And the innocent dead will not rest in peace, because the real problem has not even been examined.

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Upstart Populist Party Shocks In Dutch Election Upset, 2 Days After Utrecht Attack

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack.

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Via Zerohedge…


Dutch voters have sent shock waves through Europe at the polls on Wednesday in the wake of Monday’s deadly Utrecht terror shooting, in which a now detained 37-year old Turkish man went on a terrifying tram killing spree which left three dead and three injured.

Euroskeptic party, Forum for Democracy (FvD), has emerged victorious in key provincial elections this week, paving the way to making it one of the two largest groups in the Dutch Senate, and representing growing Dutch frustration with the recent unprecedented refugee influx in Europe.

Newcomer Forum for Democracy party is led by 36-year-old Thierry Baudet, who is a critic of the EU and of the Netherlands’ immigration policies, via EPA

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack, which investigators have since described as having a “terror motive” based on a letter found in shooter Gokmen Tanis’ possession.

Forum for Democracy party leader Thierry Baudet had immediately placed ultimate blame  for the incident on the government’s “lax immigration policies” and provocatively stated a day before the elections (referencing his political rival)

If people want more deadly shootings like the one in Utrecht, then they have to vote for the VVD.

Baudet, riding a wave of renewed Euroskeptic sentiment, and whose party also wants to see more military spending, green initiatives, and an easing on income tax while greatly restricting the borders, said in the aftermath of Wednesday’s vote: “The voters in the Netherlands have spread their wings and shown their true power.”

Referencing the Utrecht attack and other deadly terror incidents on European soil, he added: “We have been called to the front because we have to. Because the country needs us.”

Three were killed and several injured in Monday’s Dutch tram terror attack, which raised the country’s emergency threat level to five as it was unfolding, its highest level.

Interestingly, the 36-year old Baudet and his party continued campaigning down to the last moments even as others stopped in the wake of Monday’s attack which rocked the Netherlands. According to Al Jazeera:

Following the lead of US President Donald Trump, Baudet opposes immigration and emphasises “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He opposes the euro and thinks the Netherlands should leave the European Union.

Baudet had continued campaigning when other parties stopped after Monday’s attack in Utrecht, in which a gunman shot three people dead on a tram. The populist leader blamed the incident on the government’s lax immigration policies.

The FvD is now set to take 12 seats in the upper house of parliament, which is equal to Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD Party, a scenario before this week considered unlikely according to many observers.

The FvD slightly outscoring the VVD means Rutte’s government has lost its majority for the 75-seat Senate ahead of upcoming May elections.

In a post-election speech on Wednesday, Baudet described further that what’s now being described in international media as “an upstart populist party [that has] shocked the Dutch political establishment” as punishing the arrogance of elites.

In his pro-Western civilization themed remarks, Baudet added, “We are standing in the rubble of what was once the most beautiful civilization in the world.”

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Will The Trump White House finally punish Facebook for censorship?

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 113.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at US President Trump’s tweet where he has said that he would be “looking into” a report that his social media chief, Dan Scavino Jr. has been censored by Facebook.

Are we finally about to see the Trump White House move to punish social media outlets for their blatant and bias censorship of alternative narratives that dare to stray from globalist neo-liberal and radical left ideology?

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“Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech’s censorship expands”, authored by Donald Trump Jr., via The Hill…

As Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives becomes ever more flagrant and overt, the old arguments about protecting the sanctity of the modern public square are now invalid. Our right to freely engage in public discourse through speech is under sustained attack, necessitating a vigorous defense against the major social media and internet platforms.

From “shadowbans” on Facebook and Twitter, to demonetization of YouTube videos, to pulled ads for Republican candidates at the critical junctures of election campaigns, the list of violations against the online practices and speech of conservatives is long.

I certainly had my suspicions confirmed when Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, “accidentally” censored a post I made regarding the Jussie Smollett hoax, which consequently led to me hearing from hundreds of my followers about how they’ve been having problems seeing, liking or being able to interact with my posts. Many of them even claimed that they’ve had to repeatedly refollow me, as Instagram keeps unfollowing me on their accounts.

While nothing about Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives truly surprises me anymore, it’s still chilling to see the proof for yourself. If it can happen to me, the son of the president, with millions of followers on social media, just think about how bad it must be for conservatives with smaller followings and those who don’t have the soapbox or media reach to push back when they’re being targeted?

Thanks to a brave Facebook whistleblower who approached James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, we now know that Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant developed algorithms to “deboost” certain content, limiting its distribution and appearance in news feeds. As you probably guessed, this stealth censorship was specifically aimed at conservatives.

Facebook appears to have deliberately tailored its algorithm to recognize the syntax and style popular among conservatives in order to “deboost” that content. “Mainstream media,” “SJW” (Social Justice Warrior) and “red pill” — all terms that conservatives often use to express themselves — were listed as red flags, according to the former Facebook insider.

Facebook engineers even cited BlazeTV host Lauren Chen’s video criticizing the social justice movement as an example of the kind of “red pills” that users just aren’t allowed to drop anymore. Mainstream conservative content was strangled in real time, yet fringe leftists such as the Young Turks enjoy free rein on the social media platform.

Despite the occasional brave gesture, politicians have been far too sluggish in recognizing the extent of the problem. But the Republican Party and the conservative movement are becoming more vigilant against the suppression of our speech, as we saw at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Silicon Valley lobbyists have splashed millions of dollars all over the Washington swamp to play on conservatives’ innate faith in the free-market system and respect for private property. Even as Big Tech companies work to exclude us from the town square of the 21st century, they’ve been able to rely on misguided conservatives to carry water for them with irrelevant pedantry about whether the First Amendment applies in cases of social media censorship.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has been making a name for himself as a Republican prepared to stand up to Big Tech malfeasance since his time as Missouri’s attorney general. He delivered a tour de force interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel in front of the CPAC crowd, one that provided a clear-eyed assessment of the ongoing affront to the freedoms of conservative speech and expression.

Hawley demolished the absurd notion that “conservative principles” preclude taking action to ensure free debate online simply because Big Tech firms — the most powerful corporations in the world — are private companies.

Hawley pointed out that Big Tech companies already enjoy “sweetheart deals” under current regulations that make their malfeasance a matter of public concern. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, for instance, allows them to avoid liability for the content that users post to their platforms. To address this problem, Hawley proposed adding a viewpoint neutrality requirement for platforms that benefit from Section 230’s protections, which were originally enacted to protect the internet as “a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”

“Google and Facebook should not be a law unto themselves,” Hawley declared. “They should not be able to discriminate against conservatives. They should not be able to tell us we need to sit down and shut up!”

It’s high time other conservative politicians started heeding Hawley’s warnings, because the logical endpoint of Big Tech’s free rein is far more troubling than conservative meme warriors losing their Twitter accounts. As we’re already starting to see, what starts with social media censorship can quickly lead to banishment from such fundamental services as transportation, online payments and banking.

Left unchecked, Big Tech and liberal activists could construct a private “social credit” system — not unlike what the communists have nightmarishly implemented in China — that excludes outspoken conservatives from wide swaths of American life simply because their political views differ from those of tech executives.

There is no conservative principle that even remotely suggests we are obligated to adopt a laissez-faire attitude while the richest companies on earth abuse the power we give them to put a thumb on the scale for our political enemies.

If anything, our love of the free market dictates that we must do whatever is necessary to ensure that the free marketplace of ideas remains open to all.

Donald Trump Jr. is executive vice president at The Trump Organization.

 

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