Russian Misinformation

Discussion in 'World Events' started by joepistole, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    This year it has become painfully evident Russia's misinformation campaigns are having an effect. The question now is what does the world do about it? This is probably the most vexing problem the world faces. So we need an answer, and we need it fast. This is, at least in part, why the US now has a clown as president-elect.

    STOCKHOLM — With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

    The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

    They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.

    “People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?” said Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman.

    As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility.

    In Crimea, eastern Ukraine and now Syria, Mr. Putin has flaunted a modernized and more muscular military. But he lacks the economic strength and overall might to openly confront NATO, the European Union or the United States. Instead, he has invested heavily in a program of “weaponized” information, using a variety of means to sow doubt and division. The goal is to weaken cohesion among member states, stir discord in their domestic politics and blunt opposition to Russia.



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    More of Kremlin’s Opponents Are Ending Up Dead AUG. 20, 2016


    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/29/world/europe/russia-sweden-disinformation.html?_r=0

    The West has a long tradition of freedom of the press and free speech. We certainly don't want to become like Russia and China and supress speech: where only the party line is voiced. But we do need a way of dealing with misinformation. The other day in the US an armed guy walked into a pizza store and demanded to see see the sex slave children Hilary Clinton was holding in the establishment. Obviously, Clinton has never been a sex trafficker, much less a sex trafficker of children. But this guy believed it enough to show up at this establishment and threaten people with his gun. The genesis of this story is rooted in Russian hacking and misinformation. It doesn't even make sense, but this guy and many more like him, mostly right wing nuts, believed it, and now he is believing it from his jail cell.

    So where does this end, and how do we deal with it?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Misinformation has been around for a long long time.
    If the Russians are just getting into it they may be a little ruff until they become half good at it.
    Remember "weapons of mass destruction" did not come from the Russians.
    Misinformation who started that tactic ...folk well before our time I bet.
    Alex
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Russia has been engaged in creating and disseminating misinformation for a very long time. Enabled by Western technologies, they are getting good at it. That's the problem.

    The "weapons of mass destruction" incident had a name attached to it. We knew who was telling us. It was a single incident created by a single POTUS. If that were in anyway similar to what Russia is doing, we wouldn't be having this discussion. This is covert misinformation on a grand scale. Trump lies virtually every time he opens his mouth. But we know that. We know it's Trump. That's not what Russia is doing.
     
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  7. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Your are right no doubt.
    It surprises me, well it doesn't really, just how folk will believe stuff.
    Do you know professional fisherman now have to wear hair nets when filleting fish?
    Apparently that appeared in some paper (sorry I can't provide a name or link) and typical of nonsence news slipped in for entertainment???? Heard on the radio so it must be true.
    Also so many folk will believe stuff if it suits them and their prejudice.
    Add social media.
    I guess it will be the best liar wins...well of course and we have evidence in support.
    We just need our own department of misinformation.
    Did you hear how long Mr Putin has to live, please don't tell anyone but my aunt lives next door to the cousin of the guy who cleans the flat of the nurse who used to work for the doctors wife and she said number three in the third race will win by a mile...where was I???

    On the positive social media can head off misinformation.
    Alex
     
  8. Kittamaru Giving up this insanity for Lent - back ~ 4/15 Staff Member

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    The problem is simple - in general, most people are followers, sheep. They look to be lead, and are not comfortable being made to lead others. So, they fall in line.

    It used to be that people would do at least a modicum of research and/or critical thinking before blindly following someone... now, though, partisan politics have become so ingrained in some that they will follow whoever "their player" is without a second thought... and if there is a bit of information that has even the slightest appearance of having come from "their person", they will latch onto it like a drowning man to a life preserver.

    Simply put... the vocal masses don't want to "think" anymore - they accept being told what to believe without a seconds hesitation.

    "A profound man thinks more easily than he talks; a shallow one talks more easily than he thinks." ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

    The problem is, the smart ones tend to stay quiet until they have as many of the facts as they can... and by then, the fools have gone off and made a decision, started an action, and haven't the foggiest idea if it's the RIGHT course of action.
     
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  9. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Russian had nothing to do with me casting my no my wife's vote for Trump.
     
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well good for you. I'm sure the Republican Party, Putin and Trump in particular are gratified to know you don't care about facts or reason, and that you will mindlessly believe whatever they tell you. You will just blindly vote for them no matter what regardless of circumstance, regardless of facts, and regardless of reason. You probably are one of the folk who believe Clinton was running a child sex slave operation from a pizza store front.

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    Congratulations on being so savvy.

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    You should and undoubtedly are proud of yourself for being so sharp.

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    You are so smart, you voted for the guy who is going screw you over.

    But that's not what this is about, and your inability to see that or recognize that speaks volumes. The example I used was Sweden. What does Russian misinformation in Sweden have to do with your vote for Trump? Please explain how that is relevant.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  11. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for your wise insults What are the advantage for Sweden to Join NATO , why not become non allied They have a shield which are the Baltic countries from the Russian . In their mind they have the experience during WW11 by been independent from Germany, Sweden have been busted by Russia during Czar Peter the great. They got himself into trouble aliede to fight Napoleon.
     
  12. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    First, the truth isn't an insult. It's just the truth. Now if you find the truth to be insulting perhaps that should give you cause for concern and introspection.

    Additionally, Sweden is nonaligned. In modern times it has always been nonaligned. It was nonaligned before or during WWII. The article I referenced wasn't about Sweden's status as a nonaligned nation. It wasn't about NATO.I think you need to go back and reread the article I referenced. It was about Russian misinformation. Now how does that relate to casting your vote for Trump?
     

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