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UK Think-Tank Blames Hatred Of Islam On Russian Twitter Trolls

UK’s cross-party think tank says that a St. Petersburg “troll farm” tweeted far more about Islam than Brexit.

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Via Zerohedge


UK Twitter users divided over Islam may have fallen victim to Russian trolls, according to a research group which analyzed over 9 million tweets.

report released Thursday by the UK’s cross-party Demos think tank shows that a St. Petersburg “troll farm” tweeted far more about Islam than Brexit, reports Bloomberg.

Using a Twitter-provided data set of 3,841 blocked accounts said to be linked to the Internet Research Agency, the study shows how accounts “camouflaged” themselves after their creation in 2011 by tweeting innocuous things about exercise and fitness in order to appear genuine, before becoming politically active to divide people. Demos adds as a caveat that they are “dependent on Twitter’s determination that these are indeed Russian state-operated accounts.

According to Demos:

  • There were three phases in Russian influence operations: under-the-radar account building, minor Brexit vote visibility, and larger-scale visibility during the London terror attacks.
  • Russian influence operations linked to the UK were most visible when discussing Islam. Tweets discussing Islam over the period of terror attacks between March and June 2017 were retweeted 25 times more often than their other messages.
  • The most widely-followed and visible troll account, @TEN_GOP, shared 109 Tweets related to the UK. Of these, 60 percent were related to Islam.
  • The topology of tweet activity underlines the vulnerability of social media users to disinformation in the wake of a tragedy or outrage.
  • Focus on the UK was a minor part of wider influence operations in this data. Of the nine million Tweets released by Twitter, 3.1 million were in English (34 percent). Of these 3.1 million, we estimate 83 thousand were in some way linked to the UK (2.7%). Those Tweets were shared 222 thousand times. It is plausible we are therefore seeing how the UK was caught up in Russian operations against the US.
  • Influence operations captured in this data show attempts to falsely amplify other news sources and to take part in conversations around Islam, and rarely show attempts to spread ‘fake news’ or influence at an electoral level.

In other words, the suspected Russian bots weren’t spreading fake news – they were amplifying legitimate news sources.

Of the nine million tweets analyzed, a staggering one thousand four hundred and sixteen (1,416, or 0.0015%) were “messages sent by Russian state-operated accounts” after three London Islamic terror attacks, and were “widely shared on the platform.” The 1,416 tweets were retweeted 98,499 times – however Demos notes that they “cannot tell how many of these retweets were from other state-controlled or otherwise malicious accounts.”

Demos offers the following caveats to their analysis:

  • we cannot say with confidence what proportion of Russian state-operated accounts that were active over the period the data represents.
  • we expect there to be significantly more accounts that have either not been detected or were not contained in the data released
  • Although this is a useful window into Russian influence operations, we cannot be sure it is a representative one. We are equally dependent on Twitter’s determination that these are indeed Russian state-operated accounts.
  • One of the major questions that this analysis cannot answer is whether this data set reveals Russian operations against the UK directly, or a small part of a Russian operation against the USA which happened to include UK-related messaging.

Read the working paper below:

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Cheryl BrandonShaun RameweSteve Hayesjohn vieiraJohn Nolan Recent comment authors
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Amanda Momtazi
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Amanda Momtazi

Time Britain grew up and stopped behaving like a bullying two year old.

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

How ingenious…a new way to blame Russia.

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

John Nolan
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John Nolan

Maybe the morons who devised this pile of putretant wind should read the Koran, to see what is behind this muslim invasion of Amazia, Englandia, Europia, Auslazia,and then start to understand who is behind this global takeover. Learn who actually started this muslim religion, and the real purpose behind these young, healthy, obviously financially secure, mostly male, militarially trained terrorists. It may surprise the sincere researcher, to find this invasion is part of a religious war on the West, on our culture, our rather shoddy moral standards, our freedom, and, most importantly, for those of us who stand by our… Read more »

john vieira
Guest

Unfortunately there are none so blind as those who “will not see”. This is “his” world…he offered it to Jesus in return for his adulation…and was rejected….The last Crusade is at hand ??? The fact that Islam was hijacked in the sixth century and was turned against God by the “highjacker” in his refusal to acknowledge the 2nd of the Two Great Commandments thus guaranteeing their place in the kingdom of brimstone and fire…

Steve Hayes
Guest

To call this a study is an insult to everyone who as ever studied anything. Russophobia amongst the elite, and their paid propagandists, has blinded them to evidence and reason, and all the values of the Enlightenment.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Does anyone even believe, let alone care, what the lying sneaky pro-terrorist false-flagging war-criminal pervert-cowards in the UK so-called establishment think?!!

Cheryl Brandon
Guest
Cheryl Brandon

SOME recommended books if you like reading, which I have read. Dangerous Liaison; The inside story of the USA-Israel covert relationship (1991) writers Andrew and Leslie Cockburn NY USA The Holocaust Industry; Reflections on the exploitation of the jewish suffering by (2003) by Dr Norman G Finkelstein. London UK Guilt by association; How deception and self-deceit took America to war (2008) by Jeff Gates NJ USA The Racket; A Rogue Reporter versus the American State (2015) ZED Book, London UK The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2007) by Ilan Pappe Oxford UK. Against our better judgement; The Hidden history of how… Read more »

Cheryl Brandon
Guest
Cheryl Brandon

If Americans Knew – What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine: https://ifamericaknew.org/#.W92tlgWwuMU.twitter

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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