Social media Manipulation

February 2024 Forums General discussion Social media Manipulation

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 58 total)
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  • #85923
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    It would seem from this Guardian article that some of us were duped into believing that the White Helmets in Syria were not a front and that it was genuinely non-partisan. Those Russian trolls used social media.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/18/syria-white-helmets-conspiracy-theories

    I was almost fooled again by the seeming veracity of the report until i came across this remark by the researcher.

    Quote:
    Sam Woolley, who studies computational propaganda at the University of Oxford, said “It’s all part of an effort to delegitimise western efforts to stabilise Syria,”

    Escalating a civil war to dislodge its government is an effort to stabilise a country…DUH ! It seems this researcher has already chosen to mis-represent reality which undermines his credibility.

    There is also another article that is of related interest

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/18/russia-linked-twitter-accounts-tried-to-divide-uk-after-terrorist-attacks

    I think the Russian attempts in discrediting the migrants and muslims especially via RT reporting has already been mentioned on this forum elsewhere. But to claim that they are the motor for the vilification may be over-egging the pudding. Plenty of domestic politicians, both right and left, did their nasty part in polarising communities. There is an apparent silence of the right-wing drift in Europe.

    Our blog recently drew attention to fake news and media manipulation here to show that it is not all one-way traffic. We actually have a British Army brigade dedicated to it.

    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-troll-wars.html

    #131007
    Sympo
    Participant

    I don't know much about the White Helmets but I wouldn't assume they're jihadists solely based on the fact that the Guardian journalist is anti-Assad.

    #131008
    jondwhite
    Participant
    Sympo wrote:
    I don't know much about the White Helmets but I wouldn't assume they're jihadists solely based on the fact that the Guardian journalist is anti-Assad.

    Agreed. Wikipedia comments [White Helmets] are officially an impartial humanitarian NGO, with no affiliation to any political or military actor and a commitment to render services to anyone in need'In fact, the first Guardian article cited seems to confirm this.The propaganda here in respect of the White Helmets is from Assad-Russia moreso than "the West".

    #131009
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Since the Guardian had none of their reporters operating in the rebel-held territory where the White Helmets were located since journalists tended to be killed, their information was through media-outlets that were tolerated by Jihadists.There was certainly a concerted campaign by Assadists to discredit the organisation and some allegations against the White Helmets were shown to be false. Others were upheldThe White Helmets were very vocal in supporting the No Fly Zone proposal and therefore cannot be seen as non-political which was a much more serious attempt to destabilise the region and escalate the Civil War into an openly international conflict. If the Russians/Assadists spread disinformation on the White Helmets, the anti-Assadists equally used the White Helmets as a conduit for their own campaign to increase interventionI read the wiki article particularly the section on the sources of funding and i was minded of the saying…he who pays the piper calls the tune. I saw no info of fire engines or ambulances or rescue equipment being sent to Assad by the "humanitarian" west.In all propaganda wars, there is no black and white but large areas of grey

    #131010
    Sympo
    Participant

    You're probably correct when you say that information about the White Helmets is not mentioned by popular newspapers in order to make them look good. But we should be careful when we accept "information" by RT or Sputnik News or whatever. I have a lot less trust in them than, say, the BBC (I'm not saying that the BBC doesn't say things that is bs).

    #131011
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    i think there is another thread that RT was rightly shown to be pandering to the right-wing anti-migrant xenophobes and promoting nationalist separatismAs for the BBC, i would say it is equally as unreliable. But my aversion to the Beeb has been made clear over the years on here.DW or France 24 or Al Jazeera all have their weaknesses but it is interesting to compare the lead stories and differences in emphasis, sometimes. I think one person on the Forum recommended reading Irish newspapers 

    #131012
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    This article by a comrade touches on various aspects related to media and dissemination of false information http://www.stephenshenfield.net/themes/international-relations/187-hunting-foreign-agents

    Quote:
    It seems to me reasonable to suspect that the concern about Russian propaganda, while genuine, serves as a pretext for pursuing a more far-reaching goal — namely, restoring full monopolistic control of the political establishment over the public flow of information.
    #131013
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n01/jackson-lears/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-russian-hackingProvided by another comrade an article which is of interest concerning Russia's "cyber attacks" and "hacking"

    Quote:
    For the DNC, the great value of the Russian hack story is that it focuses attention away from what was actually in their emails. The documents revealed a deeply corrupt organisation, whose pose of impartiality was a sham. Even the reliably pro-Clinton Washington Post has admitted that ‘many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.’ Further evidence of collusion between the Clinton machine and the DNC surfaced recently in a memoir by Donna Brazile, who became interim chair of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the email revelations.
    #131014
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Another interesting article to readhttps://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/29/the-new-hysteria-on-kremlin-trolls/

    Quote:
    Of course the Russian government is playing around with our social media: every government that can is doing this. This is life in our cyber-world. We spy on them; they spy on us. We spin stories, they spin stories. We undermine or overthrow governments to get our way, others may try to do the same, if they can. Cyberspace is the New Great Game,…
    #131015
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    An article that is sympathetic to the White Helmets by a lobby group that the article describes as "a humanitarian charity"  but more a spin-off from the activist PR company Purpose.https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/dec/31/fake-news-survey-russia-main-culprit-uk-social-media-users

    #131016
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Glen Greenwald on State manipulation of Facebookhttps://www.alternet.org/media/glenn-greenwald-facebook-operating-arm-israeli-state-removing-palestinian-posts 

    Quote:
    Facebook now collaborating with the most powerful governments on the planet—the Israelis and the Americans, in particular—to determine who is allowed to speak and who isn’t and what messages are allowed to be conveyed and which ones aren’t. And it’s hard to think of anything more threatening or menacing to internet freedom
    #131017
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Robert Fisk has written an illuminating essay on so-called neutrality of humanitarian organisation.http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iraq-mosul-doctors-medicins-sans-frontieres-usa-army-humanitarian-a8160306.htmlJonathan Whittall of Medecins Sans Frontieres, director of MSF’s analysis department,  “most humanitarian actors behave in line with how Colin Powell described their role in 2001: ‘NGOs are such a force multiplier for us, such an important part of our combat team.’”He explains that "…the sieges of cities and towns in the Middle East these past two years have produced a new and more profoundly disturbing challenge: medical aid groups who embed themselves in armies and militias and thus align themselves with one side in the conflict…"In his BMJ article, Whittall scathingly attacked what he called “stethoscopes for hire”, contractors for a commercial medical company who operated “as contractors driven by profit rather than the principles that guide humanitarian action in conflict.

    #131018
    jondwhite
    Participant

    An article here now hiddenhttps://ravingsofaradicalvagabond.noblogs.org/post/2018/01/15/an-investigation-into-red-brown-alliances/Commented

    Quote:
    Vanessa Beeley is listed as an Associate Editor of 21st Century Wire on its About section (which also lists Andrew Korybko and Marwa Osman as special contributors). 21st Century Wire claims to be an “independent hyper blog offering bold news”. However, its features editor and founder is Patrick Henningsen, who used to be an InfoWars Associate Editor, and still associates with the far-right (Henningsen has himself been a long time RT contributor).21st Century Wire of course is rife with conspiracies about the “New World Order”, with even a post quoting Aleksandr Dugin favorably, anti-Semitic “Rothschild” conspiracy theories, the “globalists”, neo-fascist and Holocaust denier David Icke, Lyndon LaRouche, Holocaust denial, calling the Charlie Hebdo attacks a false flag, blaming anti-Trump protests on George Soros and “globalists”.Engdahl is of course present on 21st Century Wire and is hosted on its podcast.21st Century Wire also shares material by Thierry Meyssan and hosts Gearoid o Colmain, self-proclaimed “communist” (he appears to be a member of the Pôle de renaissance communiste en France, a French Marxist-Leninist party) who openly voices out the vilest anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, considers the IMF to be a “tool of Zionism” (which is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory) and praises Hungarian far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban as bulwark against it and believes in conspiracy theories about the 2016 Nice attacks.21st Century Wire’s position on the war in Syria as of 2011 itself has been that it is a “regime change” plot by the “globalists” and by George Soros, and that Da’esh is a CIA creation as a tool to establish the “New World Order”. Beeley appears to be the source of conspiracies surrounding the White Helmets which were then aired by Russian state media.
    #131019
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Another dubious contributor to the topic is Brandon Turbeville whose various conspiracy theories can be read at his website.http://www.brandonturbeville.com/Rick Stirling is an activist in support of the Syrian Assad government with a pre-determined agendaNevertheless, there others more respected observers who share their view on the White HelmetsScott Ritter, former Iraq WMD investigatorhttps://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-white-helmets-and-the-inherent-contradiction-of-americas-syria-policy/Then there is Max Blumenthalhttp://maxblumenthal.com/Who to believe in a vicious war, is always a difficult issue. A war article in the Standard cautioned readers that the stories of Nazi atrocities against the Jews may be propaganda.http://socialiststandardmyspace.blogspot.com/2018/01/50-years-ago-1943the-war-and-workers.htmlOur view on all war is on safer ground. A plague on both houses. I followed the Syrian Civil War from the days it was part of the Arab Spring and am aware of all the disinformation and misinformation. http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2012/04/syrian-struggle-for-democracy-is-on-two.htmlhttp://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2011/08/revolution-without-leaders.html

    Quote:
    "Our revolution has been stolen from us…We are fighting two regimes and two armies now."

    Where were the millions that went into the logistics of the White Helmets for those people? Perhaps it is as you and others say, that the White Helmets are truly a humanitarian organisation, JDW, but their success was only fostered because they served the interests of only one side of the conflict. Those sponsors of the White Helmets have no intention of repeating the process in Yemen, for instance. It doesn't suit them. 

    #131020
    ALB
    Keymaster
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