Facebook apparently knew quite early on that Russian agents were manipulating Facebook feeds and Facebook users in order to influence the American election, favoring Trump and working against Clinton.
But they publicly denied that they had any of this information, and went so far as to delete information about this in a report. The report contained details about Russia that Facebook legal and marketing teams removed before the report’s release.
Then, as you may know, they eventually admitted it.
The result of this long and inexplicable delay may have set back by months our understanding of the whole Trump-Russian scandal.
I remember like it was yesterday, the anti Hillary rhetoric flying around during those final weeks of the election. People were making statements that seemed to be based on actual sources, though the sources themselves were not crossing my path. The attitude of those repeating the stories was very similar across the board. Breathless, gut-punch angry, visceral, mean. They were talking almost as though Hillary Clinton had stepped on their baby’s heads. That kind of thing.
And it turns out that this was the Russians. The people doing this were not the Russians. Rather, the Russians, either working for Trump or working in parallel with him (we shall eventually find out) were isolating vulnerable individuals, individual who fit a certain discernible pattern of attributes, and psychologically manipulating them to rage against Hillary.
Looking back, it is now pretty clear that this vitriolic wall of hate, rising up unexpectedly and looking a certain way, was an anomaly. Yes, yes, there was all this Hillary Hate before, but that was from a different demographic, had a different look, and a different feel. This new thing was a different thing, and looking back, one can see it clearly.
And now, it is back. The statements being made that, when you run them down, are not based on reality. The vitriol, almost threatening way it is put. The logical conclusion of the rhetoric being self defeating and damaging to the Democratic Party and progressive idea.
But this time it is about Bernie. I will bet all my bagels and muffins against all your donuts that the Russians are hacking us again, but this time, instead of manipulating Bernie-favoring people to hate bigger and better on Hillary, they are manipulating Hillary supporters to bash Bernie.
It is the same level of vitriol, the same badly sourced accusations, the same direct link between accusation and a final solution of leaving or tearing apart the Democratic party, etc. It appeared in the social networking world instantly, and it is suddenly everywhere. Have you seen it?
I’ll give yo an example. Perez gets up in front of an audience and all the Bernie Bots boo him. That is what is being said. What really happened is that Perez got Bernie to do a talk in a place where Bernie was very popular, to shore up Democratic support, and a lot of Bernie people cheered the heck out of Bernie. There was not moment of booing Perez, though there may have been one moment of mixed hemming and hawing. The actual non-false, real thing that happened is that Perez gave a speech that had the audience cheering and on their feet, then Sanders gave a speech that had the audience cheering and on their feet. If you don’t believe me, you can watch it yourself, below.
But this was converted into a false accusation that Bernie was trying to ruin the Democratic Party. The vitriol is intense. He’s a socialist, run him out. He’s an independent, run him out. He lies all the time. Etc.
The result of this falsehood laced vitriol is to split anti-Republican and anti-Trump forces and to throw the grassroots of the Democratic Party in to chaos.
OK, I do not know that this is Russian Hacking. But it looks exactly like the Russian anti-Hillary hacking. It has the same form, the same technique, some of the same rhetoric, and is exploiting a similar set of vulnerable individuals. If this is not Russian hacking then, indeed, you can have all the muffins and bagels in the land for yourself.
Tom Perez Was Not Booed; that is a pernicious lie
How many Democratic events have you been to? This was a pretty typical one, but slight bit more raucous. There is a heckler yelling something in the beginning, I have no idea what. Hecklers could be paid operatives, or just crazy people, or just people who are not fully in control of themselves.
The so called “booing of Perez,” which was not booing of Perez, happens at just after 6:18. Perez is not on the stage, therefore he is not booed. The speaker asks the audience if they are there to hear about the future of the Democratic Party and the new chair. This is an audience of people who came to hear Sanders. It is a light hearted, fun, charged up rally. If you say to them, “you are here to see ______” where the blank is filled in with anything at all that is not the keynote speaker, they will boo. So, some booed, some cheered, it was pretty ambiguous, and most importantly, UTTERLY MEANINGLESS. It is this moment of alleged but not actual booing of Perez that is among the items being used to bash Bernie and create this unnecessary division.
Now, watch Perz at just after 32:00 . He gives a great speach. He is cheered and loved. there is not Perez hate here.
The people who are being manipulated by this latest round of psychological warfare are unlikely to be convinced that they are wrong. Assuming this is manipulation, the psychology is immune, laced with paranoia and preformed hatred of disagreement. What needs to happen is this: People need to realize that the hacking that happened before can happen again and, probably, is happening again now. The other thing that needs to happen is that the individuals who are doing this hacking, who can’t find their center, their rational self, and slough it off, need to be isolated. Don’t engage, don’t follow, just … well, just do this:
Because that is what your friend’s facebook page looks like.