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[flagged] Is a New Russian Meddling Tactic Hiding in Plain Sight? (nytimes.com)
15 points by crispyambulance on Nov 1, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments

I don't think it's "a meddling tactic" as much as a test platform to experiment with finding hot-button issues. They're likely tabulating who's linking to their stories and what's getting traction.

They're not "hiding" the fact that they're Russian either. It makes me wonder about the analogous current-day misinformation campaigns that the US runs in other countries. Do they look like this?


I'm a bit worried that a lot of the evidence for cases of suspected meddling boils down to, "because they're Russian."

Did you read the linked article through the second paragraph, where they start talking about the evidence? What do you think about FireEye's statement? What do you think about their behavior - also discussed in the article - about posting on Reddit? It seems like you can safely ignore that they are Russian and characterize USAReally's behavior in the same way. When you add in their location and funding background, that just adds to the case.

edit: I added to my comment before you replied in https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18355858, I think it addresses your point.

I'm not stating anything about the overall merit of these suspicions. Just that some units of evidence that boil down to "because they're Russian" really ought to hold no weight.

Well, it's the "because they're Russian" observation that drew attention to USAReally. I mean, at first glance USAReally just looks like trashy clickbait fodder posing as a 3rd rate Fox News wannabee.

It didn't take much (or any) sleuthing to discover that they're Russian government funded. At that point one has to start asking WTF questions.

If it's this easy to swing an election why doesn't everyone do it?

Make no mistake, if you weren’t already convinced of it, the end game of the NYT narrative here is censorship. Doesn’t matter if it’s real people expressing real views anymore (goal posts notably move from ‘fake’ entities and troll farms) if it’s feasible you are within several degrees of Putin you are culpable in defrauding the United States if US citizens are unwittingly exposed to your message.

Of course, the NYT and others continue to oppose stronger libel laws even amidst this national crisis.

Back in reality, I don't believe the NYT wants censorship of everyone else except them. Why is that the end game? It's actually true that foreign governments placed misleading advertisements to try to impact the US political process, and they have actually tested different approaches. The NYT reporting on likely similar practices is not a call to censor everyone but the NYT. Can you explain how you came to this conclusion?

You are outsmarting yourself and creating a false dichotomy. There are people that want to censor you, and there are people that want to influence you.

It's incredibly easy believe both are true and oppose both.

All of this unsubstantiated meddling talk has atrophied my care muscles.

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