EXCLUSIVE: Company Behind Conservative Censoring Has Top Donors With Offices In China - Great American Politics
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:42
Jonathon Morgan is a co-founder and CEO of New Knowledge.
New Knowledge is a self-described ''cybersecurity company specializing in disinformation defense for highly visible brands under attack by coordinated disinformation campaigns. Through machine learning and AI we detect threats and provide brand manipulation protection before damage is done.''
Morgan has been relentless in detailing the ''alt-right's'' radical ''racism'' in numerous posts at various outlets, like The Washington Post and The Atlantic, for instance.
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Morgan also believes the ''radical right'' is behind threats of violence, as written by him in a post for Medium.
New Knowledge has listed numerous conservative blogs as ''major threats'' which prompted an in-depth article from The Washington Post.
The company has raised over $12 million and has been behind the censoring (and mass banishment) of conservative blogs and Twitter accounts.
New Knowledge has several top donors, one of which has two offices in China and a large percentage of Chinese directors.
GGV Capital, for example, ''is a multi-stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, and Beijing.''
The other venture capital company backing New Knowledge is Lux Capital. In 2011, former CIA Director under Bill Clinton, James Woolsey, joined Lux as a venture partner.
Along with Morgan, ''a former digital content producer and State Department counterterrorism advisor,'' New Knowledge is led by ''Ryan Fox, a former NSA officer and military intelligence veteran, and Sandeep Verma, who has led engineering teams for Halliburton and BP. Kelly Perdew, a Managing Partner at Moonshots Capital, will also be joining the board of directors.''
Ryan Fox ''spent 15 years at the NSA championing next-generation SIGINT solutions, driven to support national security interests. Prior to his civilian roles as a Counter Terrorism Fellow and NSA Representative European SIGINT partners, he served under U.S. Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC), as a CNO Analyst for the U.S. Army.''
Morgan ''served as an advisor to the White House and State Department, coauthored the ISIS Twitter Census for the Brookings Institution, and develops new technology with DARPA. Jonathon is also a cohost of the surprisingly popular Partially Derivative podcast, all about data and drinking, and a founding member of Data for Democracy, a volunteer platform for data science social impact projects.''
Some of the pages @facebook suspended last week are still up on @instagram. This is likely deliberate, and shows the nuance of Facebook's policies. https://t.co/vLp9ET26H0
'-- Jonathon Morgan (@jonathonmorgan) October 14, 2018
What is the motive of New Knowledge?
Why are they so against conservative blogs and their right to free speech?
We will continue digging to bring you the most accurate information we can find.
Until then, stay tuned'...
Helena | The Nationalist Voice
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:46
The US Senate hired a 2015 startup company, New Knowledge, to analyze the Russian threat that has been inserted in all our social media platforms targeting conservatives and left leaning African-American citizens. New Knowledge lists two founders: Jonathon Morgan a published researcher for the Brookings Institute, Atlantic Council and Washington Post, a former advisor for the State Department where he developed strategies for digital counter-terrorism, and leader for Data For Democracy, an organization targeting white supremacists and far right thinkers with the goal to develop analytics to suppress their blogs. In other words, Mr. Morgan would appear to be heavily leaning toward the left and advocating means to completely obliterate conservative media including blogs. Ryan Fox is the co-founder of New Knowledge. He spent 15 years in the SIGINT Divisions of NSA.
New Knowledge boasts as one of it's prime investors; GGV Capital. With offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and San Francisco, their Managing Partners reflect a who's who of infinitely cyber-secure '' China. Of course the irony is not lost that a dominant China company would invest in a US company whose aim is to create analytics to censor all forms of US Media while blaming Russia.
The other venture capital company backing New Knowledge is Lux Capital. In 2011, former CIA Director under Bill Clinton, James Woolsey, joined Lux as a venture partner.
An obvious question would be why the Senate panel investigating Russian interference in US Social Media would hire a 'startup company' to provide their evidence? And why do all roads always point back to Liberal Progressives?
The UK's Oxford University, and Graphika, a US company whose CEO/founder is Dr. John Kelly, also provided the research for Mueller's team with regard to Russian interference/meddling. Kelly is also CEO of Morningside Analytics '' a parallel to the now defunct Cambridge Analytics formerly based out of the UK. In other words, the information Team Mueller is using to build his case against Russia, is derived from UK based intelligence and analytics organizations. The same UK that created the Trump Dossier.
The New York Times indicates another player in the Mueller Hoax '' Canfield Research Group LLC, whose embedded link goes into clouds '' literally. As in, they don't exist.
And ''Somehow'' both the New York Times and Washington Post managed to secure a copy of the report before it was released'...
The salacious report has been in the making for 3 years '' terminology on the left continues to reference election interference, whereas Russian meddling is probably more likely, and not really uncommon. Obviously, all these US and UK companies with hacktivist hacktivism as their slated specialty are busy meddling wherever they can. And ultimately censorship is the end game.
Deutsche Welle has once again uploaded its hypocrisy in slamming Russia's Putin for hypocrisy. Apparently, Putin is a hypocrite for attending the 100th birthday celebration of Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn who upheld the right of freedom of speech. What was Solzhenitsyn a critic of? Communism, Bolshevik Dictators, Lenin and Stalin. He was born in 1918 when Russia's Tsar and family were brutally murdered and the Bolsheviks ushered in the dictatorship Communist rule destroying Russia's economy and sending society into chaos. Exiled for decades he loved his country and returned to Russia in 1990 becoming a vocal proponent of Vladimir Putin! Solzhenitsyn believed Putin would reinstate Russian Nationalism, freedom and prosperity. His theme when he died was that ''Men Have Forgotten God'' '' a reference to the communist/socialists who are devoutly atheist.
Apparently, DW.com failed miserably to research this friendship and instead used a fake demonization agenda to ridicule Putin. Of course, the fact that Merkel herself was a Communist before she was a Socialist seems to elude the Media.
While the MSM have created innumerable 'Fact Checker' sites to discredit Trump for 'Pinocchio's', they rarely if ever fact check themselves! And recent articles discrediting Trump have suddenly begun to rise from the ashes from a place one might not ordinarily conceive'...
Fox News is now publishing articles and opinion pieces that are just '' well, wrong. 'A Statistician Assistant Professor is weighing in on the cost of the Border Wall'. The fact that she would have absolutely no knowledge of construction costs, engineering, material costs, labor costs, or even what exists already in terms of The Wall, would seem irrelevant. If I was building a house, a store, an office building, I don't think I would hire a 'statistician' and don't know of any contractor that has. But she is '' anti-Trump.
Brennan too is given the opportunity to voice his demand that Trump be killed, and never hold office again, and Fox News glibly reports this as a static fact. What Fox failed to note is that Rand Paul called out Brennan as being mentally unstable and thus his security clearance was revoked. As in, the man worships demons.
So what happened to Fox News?
In 2017 they hired Noah Kotch to be Editor in Chief and Vice President of Digital for Fox News. His background resume reads like a true Liberal: CNN, Washington Post, NBC, and ABC. His appointment would align with the takeover of Fox from the staunchly conservative Ruport Murdoch by his son James and wife Kathryn, also in 2017. Between 2007-2011, Kathryn Murdoch served as Director of Strategy & Communications for the Clinton Climate Initiative. James and Kathryn have a Foundation (no surprise '' legal speak for diversion of money to non-taxable) wherein a link on their foundation website reverts to a page for EDF and an anti-Trump ad. Apparently, James and Kathryn hobnob frequently with the Clintons, most recently at the wedding of two of the next generations most wealthy Indians; Isha Ambami and Anand Piramal. Mz. Ambami's father is worth $66 billion and is Chairman of Reliance Industries. Anand's father is worth a measly $4.3 billion.
Reliance is a massive conglomerate involved in oil, petrochemicals, biotechnology, retail, aerospace, banking, pharmaceuticals, pipelines, media, solar, etc'... and the Murdochs were on the guest list.
Kathryn Murdoch has announced her support for the upcoming platform, The Correspondent, which is slated to be launched soon and will uphold values 'wholly different than those of Fox News', embracing diversity and combating prejudice while supporting 'progressive realities'.
James Murdoch was instrumental in removing O'Reilly and Ailes from their positions in Fox News. He has made it clear that shifting to a more progressive liberal view will be the new Fox News.
The media censorship is expanding brutally. With Blogs more and more becoming the last bastion of anything '' not liberal or socialist leaning. I imagine those venues will be attacked next and their content censored, but then effectively that is already being done by Google. Recently, Google's CEO was sportingly embarrassed when it was revealed that their analytics showed a picture of Trump when typing in a Google search for 'idiot'. Interestingly, when I typed in 'corruption', I got a picture of Hillary.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the last two conservatives employed by Fox: Hannity and Carlson. Will they convert their politics? Will they sell their souls?
The UN Pay Scale for entry level ranges from about $44,000 to $60,400, and the highest grade is roughly $195,000. Not extravagant'... But it doesn't tell the whole story.
Salaries are adjusted higher depending on what country the employee is assigned. New York is ranked an uptick of approximately 67%, therefore the base of $44,000 would automatically adjust up $29,480. If the employee is assigned to Africa, the base is applied. This uptick is called a 'Post Adjustment''. If someone is reassigned to a lower indexed country, the employee can maintain the higher Post Adjustment for six months until the lower rate starts.
They are exempt from taxes. Anyone who speaks a second language is automatically upgraded by 20 months in the pay scale increments. Rental subsidies. If someone is assuming duties above their pay scale and not promoted, they receive a 'special post allowance'. If you are married and/or have dependent children, you receive Dependency allowances. In the US, such allowance is $2929 for the first child and $1025 for secondary child per month. If you are assigned outside your home country, your children are also subsidized by an 'education grant', for the US this amounts to $43,000. If you choose to send your children to a boarding school the cost is 100% absorbed by the UN up to about $15,000.
All travel expenses are picked up 100%, however, if you are ranking officials in the UN your travel expenses are reimbursed 155%. If you are assigned to a less friendly country, you are eligible for a 'hardship allowance'. There is a 'non-removal allowance' which I don't understand and a 'mobility allowance' which is a vacuum of garble.
Home leave is granted every year and is in addition to vacation time, it is typically 12 days. Annual vacation is 30 days, sick days are allowed variably, maternity is 22 weeks, paternity is 8 weeks, 10 official holidays, and adoption leave is open-ended.
Repatriation allowance is available when the employee is required to leave their assignment. Termination allowance is available upon '...termination. And a 'Death Grant' is payable to the spouse and children should the employee die while employed.
Health insurance is picked up 100% for employee and all dependents. Pension plans provide 2/3 paid by UN and 1/3 by employee. Life Insurance is paid by UN, a Special Death Benefit is paid for by UN when the death is a result of employment.
There are roughly 38,000 to 40,000 on the payroll, although the UN isn't exactly sure how many.
Every Taxpayer in the US is paying for this. Every Taxpayer in France and the EU is paying for this.
So. How do you feel about the UN now?
I am writing this as an observation. Not as judge or jury. The US and all its People have been seriously mocked, shamed and derided during the Obama and Bush administrations. There is a cosmic shift taking place, not just in the US, but across parts of Europe, The Middle East, and Russia '' and we need to heed, and realize what is being revealed: Our enemies are our friends '' and our friends are our enemies'...
The Democrats are in a tizzy because Jared Kushner is friends with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As though being friends with Saudi royals is something forbidden and new? So why are the Socialists and Democrats so concerned with demonizing the Saudi's suddenly? What has changed? Because if the Democrats are trying to take down the Saudi Prince, it is a fair bet that conservatives should embrace him?
A cosmic shift.
Saudi Arabia is no different than the US in that it was ruled by a Swamp of elders for decades, the same elders who were quite friendly with the Clintons and helped finance the Clinton Foundation, Pelosi Foundation and a host of others '' tit-for-tat.
The Crown Prince assumed office June 2017, six months after Trump's triumph in winning the Presidential Election. Four months later, the Crown Prince did something that was incredibly defining and barely made media headlines '' he ordered the arrest and confinement of over 500 Saudi businessmen, froze their bank accounts, charged them with corruption and when the evidence was revealed, 95% of those charged made a plea deal. He targeted $800 billion in cash and assets that these businessmen were charged with obtaining through means of corruption. That is roughly equal to the entire amount of US Treasuries held by the Saudis.
He then began the process of remaking Saudi Arabia, slowly, but with a view of creating a solid country as opposed to lining the pockets of solid wealthy elite. In essence, he is Saudi Arabia's Trump.
The move is referred to as The Great Purge and compared to a similar one executed by Putin. I emphasize Soros and anything Rothschild are forbidden from Russia.
Media reports eulogize the fact that the Saudi Crown Prince jailed a number of female activists for 'driving'. What is not reported is the rise of women activists across the Middle East who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They advocate for 'women's rights' have championed for political office in Egypt and Turkey and are now positioning themselves in the US. As of our last election, 2 women who advocate for the Sisterhood of the Muslim Brotherhood were elected to the House of Representatives.
Khashoggi, the activist who was recently killed in Turkey was a vocal member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Russia and Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood is considered a terrorist organization, and any member is subject to arrest as a terrorist. Their primary backers are Turkey and Qater. Khashoggi was killed in Turkey. They believe in imperialism, the return of the Ottoman Empire, Sharia Law for ALL, and have called for Jihad against Trump.
Linda Sarsour, a radical vocalist for the Muslim Brotherhood, who was a speaker at the Women's March, and is an advocate of female genital mutilation, helped Ilkhan Omar from Minnesota and Rashid Tlaib from Michigan obtain their seats in the US House this past election cycle. They have announced their demand for Sharia Law and Hajib.
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, is said to have ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Huma Abedin, Hillary's right hand, was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
There is a cosmic shift.
Syria's Assad was against the Muslim Brotherhood and cracked down on their activism in Syria. We are past witness to what was perpetrated against Syria during the Reign of Obama and Clinton. Going after Saudi Arabia '' is aligned and The Swamp is vigilant.
Assad was an ally of the US until 2011 when Obama and the Rothschild constituents decided Assad must go. Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, insisted Assad must go, he had lost legitimacy, Obama issued an edict demanding Assad step down. He didn't. His country was destroyed.
The Swamp is now calling for Prince Mohammed bin Salman '' to stand down. Why? Because a Muslim Brotherhood terrorist was assassinated. Which Swampers are making the call? Rubio, Graham, Bob Corker, Gina Haspel, Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, Flake the flake, '... etc. In so doing, they have revealed themselves as The Swamp, and pro-Muslim Brotherhood. The Washington Post has published articles in which they state without denial that the Muslim Brotherhood is a good organization and Trump should not revile their sweet kind agenda of Jihad. Ummm, the opinion pieces were written by Jamal Khashoggi.
We may never agree on the 'customs' of The Middle East, certainly I have no desire to emigrate. But the Middle East is divided. Just like the US. Just like Europe. Just like Canada. And it is important to be able to distinguish who is our friend and who is our enemy.
Trump is a man of 'solution', he fixes things, he's not a band-aide kind of guy. Jared is his behind the scenes fixer. He put together the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada and the press had no idea. The Israeli/Palestinian debacle would be an amazing fix. Put together by the UK after WWI, they were sloppy and didn't consider consequences. 100 years later both sides are a mess. Israel will never concede. The Palestinians want a home. The Saudi Prince has stated that he realizes oil is no longer 'Black Gold' and he wants to diversify his country industrially and for tourism. If Jared, who is now demonized by the media for his friendship with the Crown Prince, can ink a deal whereby we help build their industry, their tit-for-tat would be to build a city for the Palestinians. It could be an incredibly multi-billion dollar win-win for everyone.
In the end, remember, if the Swamp calls them friend'... they are likely our enemy'... and if they call them enemy'... they are likely our friend. And they Reveal themselves as The Swamp when they align against rationale.
Such is the Topsy-Turvy World We Live In.
And in my opinion, I think Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a good guy in the Globalist Agenda.
Canadian officials arrested Huawei's CFO, Meng Wanzhou, for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran. Canada claims they did so at the behest of the US and extradition will follow. But no one in the US seems to have a clue who ordered the arrest, and given that arrests for sanctions violations have never been conducted by the US, the entire scheme seems more than a bit odd, if not a setup, if not falsely reported.
Typically, charges for violations are brought by the Justice Department and involve heavy fines '' not arrests. In this case, HSBC was the favored means of laundering according to reports. HSBC has a history of laundering with the dubious honor of holding the largest sanctions fine as of 2012 at $1.3 billion as part of a prosecution agreement and $665 million in civil penalties. At the time, the customers included Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma. No individual was prosecuted. In 2014, BNP beat the previous honor and agreed to fork over $8.9 billion in penalties after admitting to laundering transactions involving Iran, Sudan and Cuba. NO prosecution of individuals ensued.
Bolton has claimed he was both aware in advance '' and unaware of the arrest. Trump was most emphatically unaware, which begs the questions who, why, and how?
The announcement was parlayed on the same day that Trump announced progress in trade talks with China's Xi Jinping. And thus alludes to the belief that the arrest was an attempt to defrock the positive and tank the stock market. China has been relatively quiet, Xinhau News making no comment today, and yesterday relaying a press release that was the only press release available to all media outlets.
Canada has released partial information given a ban on media was requested and granted on Ms. Wanzhou's request. According to the Canadian government, they state that Wanzhou, who is 'Chinese' is suspected of working for the Chinese government and is a spy. Which would make the Iran sanctions violation a distraction over the real reason for the arrest.
Ren Zhengfei, founder and President of Huawei Technology, is Wanzhou's father. Ren was a member of the Peoples Liberation Party where he worked in the military division as an IT Researcher. He later joined the Communist Party of China.
Due to his military and Party affiliations, India felt Huawei presented a security concern and barred them from winning particular contracts. Other countries have made similar security concern comments, but no one '' did anything. Huawei's attempt to buyout US 3Com was forcibly collapsed due to spying concerns. They have been on the radar and skated.
Hauwei manufactures telecommunications equipment, smartphones, and networking equipment. Allegations have arisen that its equipment could contain 'backdoors' allowing unauthorized surveillance by the Chinese government and the PLA. The company response was that their equipment posed no greater threat than any other company '' which is legal speak for 'everyone's doing it'. As such, miffed, August 2018, they stated that they would pull out of the US market. Not quite so easily done.
Huawei is enmeshed in various partnerships with: Motorola, T Mobile, Honeywell, GE, Deutsche Telekom, Groupe PSA, Symantec, Siemens and others. Well ingrained in equipment throughout the world, it has overtaken Apple in sales of smartphones and is well on its way to being one of the top five cloud computing companies.
Obviously the Iran sanction violation is a media distraction. The gag order is being contested. But given the fact that China is actually being relatively silent regarding the entire situation would indicate that they know considerably more.
The arrest might also be a different backdoor '' a bargaining chip'...
For an arrest to have been made, evidence of the allegations would be necessary. The Justice Department is currently head by Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, hardly a light weight. He is an avid Trump supporter, and faithful to draining The Swamp.
The media has claimed that William Barr heads the list for Trump's pick for Attorney General, however whether Barr wants the nomination is unclear and confirmation could easily take months, thereby giving Whitaker reign on the possibility of China spygate.
On December 10 and 11 the world governments will come together to sign the UN Migration Pact. So far the US, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Israel, Australia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Italy have withdrawn approval. Why?
The Pact is an ongoing attempt to globalize governments into the rule of International Law whereby decisions are arbitrated on behalf of a country given ''no state can address migration alone''. Further, the Pact states that data collection will become a strategized goal whereby a global programme will determine a countries national capacity. This data will be reviewed by the UN Statistical Commission annually in cooperation with the World Bank Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development. Migration will no longer be classified as having a refugee status, all migrants will be created equal. And all arms will point back to the global powerhead '' the UN!
Within this Migration Pact, the 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development will be forefront. Migration as a result of Climate Change will ensure the human rights of those affected taking in recommendations from 'state-led' consultants. In so doing all immigrants will receive a work permit, a certificate of nationality, counseling, legal guidance on their rights according to International Law, gender responsive support, training, and a job. As their Human Right.
As Africa sees mass exodus as a direct result of these freebies, African states will likely be more vulnerable and subject to takeover. Land grabs will be more prolific and Green Climate Funds derived from the Paris Accord will suddenly make sense in their diversion. Full circle to a Continent untapped and in need of vast infrastructure improvement in order to adequately cultivate those resources. Ta-Da '' Africa Couped!
In the meantime, the UN will extend their arm of Global Leader. The division of Africa will come under the control and mandate of the UN, and those with insider rule will WIN.
As of 2015, the countries whose ODA (Official Development Assistance) was concentrated in Africa include: Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, and Iceland. The US contributed the greatest dollar amount covering 30% of all contributions to Africa.
The 2030 Agenda, which is lovingly referred to as the New Agenda, states that the means of implementation of a Utopian world will only be able to be accomplished via a 'Global Partnership' whereby global solidarity is paramount. The New Agenda lays out The Addis Ababa Action Agenda as the means to finance the litany of Agendas: '''...a commitment to a new 'social compact' in which countries commit to set up social protection systems, with national spending targets for essential services like health and education. If countries cannot funds these through domestic resources, the international community pledges to provide international assistance.
Countries also agreed to work together to fund infrastructure for energy, transport, and water and sanitation, as well as step-up investments in agriculture and nutrition. There was also a commitment to establish a 'facilitation mechanism' to promote innovation and scientific cooperation, identify technology needs and gaps, and support capacity building on technology.''
Countries will fund these Agendas by committing a percentage of Gross National Income.
Of course, the biggest issue in implementing Addis Ababa was Tax. Therefore, the UN created a new programme entitled, Tax Inspectors Without Borders. They will help countries to collect and audit the implemented tax that will fund the fund that funds that funds the fund within the ODA fund that gives the money to recreate Africa after all the mass exodus of natives and their relocation with freebies across the EU, North and South America.
As of 2018, these Tax Inspectors managed to raise $414 million.
Given that by simple Geographics the EU is the closest land mass for the African exodus, a quota that includes all countries across the globe is necessary in order to disperse according to the UN's determination of 'capacity'. Guidelines will map global sites of entry and the UN will determine the welfare administration of these displaced migrants.
Currently, war and conflicts have been the primary means of achieving exodus. But this was based on refugee status and excluded simple immigrants. These UN provisions would alter that censorship of migration and Open Borders to all. It extends the global power hold that the UN has been ramping up for decades within a body that grossly mismanages its own funds according to their latest audit, is mired in sex trafficking, rape and sexual assaults in Africa, and seems to in reality have 'accomplished' nothing other than to hold countless discussions and make empty meaningless promises.
The New World Order is under the gun and fighting a ravage brawl in its home base of Germany. You just can't make this stuff up!
All of this is being done in the name of ''Mother Earth'', according to the UN. Scottie beam me aboard the Mother Ship '' NOW!
There are Seven major conflicts going on in Africa right now '' and the media is silent. All involve some form of ISIS, Al-Qaeda or Boko Haram. The death toll is well over 400,000 '' in Sudan alone '' and the media hasn't uttered a peep. The war in Myanmar has been ongoing since 1948, Somali since 1991, Nigeria since 1998 and Mali since 2002. The war in Afghanistan remains as the largest number of casualties cumulatively at over 2,000,000 and for 2018 '' 36,000. And not a peep out of the media. Instead they focus on Trump's Tweets and Melania's Christmas decorations and a faded prostitute who can't pay her bills.
In Myanmar, like Syria, the number of small fragmented opposition armies are disjointed and their affiliation a veritable guessing game, however China would appear to be the largest outside player which is likely why no one else wants to become involved.
In 1992, the UN attempted to integrate into the Somalia conflict only to run home a beleaguered failure after suffering significant casualties by 1995. Never returning. In 2006, Islam entered the territory and became the defacto Rebel Group in the form of Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda and ISIL. The UN attempted to integrate Muslims into the government in 2009 as a means of peace, but the people revolted and war re-erupted.
Most of the wars have a similar core '' Islam.
And still, the UN decries '' integration as the answer.
The immigrant invasions precipitated by the Huns and other barbarians ended with the conquest of Rome and ultimately led to The Fall Of The Roman Empire sometime between 450 and 500 AD. Mismanagement allowed the invasions. Ultimately, The Fall ushered in The Dark Ages of chaos, death, famine and disease.
The Turkic people of Asia, Europe and North Africa were forced into migration during the rise of Islam under Muhammad between the 6thand 11thcenturies. Chaos ensued.
In the 19thcentury over 50 million people fled the horrors of Europe and settled in the US as a result of migrant chaos.
Migration has seen the collapse of entire societies. When migrants from Europe began to descend on the US, they came through Ellis Island where they were required to submit to a health examination, legal checks to assure they were not criminals, and a head tax. The Immigration Act of 1891 stated that persons likely to become public charges, persons suffering from certain contagious disease, felons, persons convicted of other crimes or misdemeanors, polygamists, aliens assisted by others by payment of passage would not be admitted. Those who did not comply with these rules were deported.
In 1870 Chinese immigrants were specifically not allowed, only white and blacks were allowed per the Naturalization Act. In 1901 the Anarchist Exclusion Act allowed for the prohibition of an immigrant based on their political beliefs. And in 1907 American women were prohibited from bringing foreign men nto the US as citizens based on marriage.
The Italian Mafia immigrated to the US from Sicily during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Settling in New York and other major cities on the east coast, they immediately banded to create controlled territories where racketeering, smuggling, fraud, money laundering, robbery, etc'... were their mainstay. They were '' immigrants.
Migration caused the riff that is Islamic Pakistani's vs. Buddhist and Hindu Indians. It has NOT resolved.
The Bolsheviks, revolutionized under Lenin, were factioned in Switzerland and Germany while Lenin lived there, and founded the Marxist media outlet, ''Forward''. They followed him back to Russia wherein the Bloody Revolution was instituted and Russia fell to communist rule for decades. Many if not most Bolsheviks '' were immigrants.
For the media to continue to hail the fact that the US was built on immigration is censoring the entire story and virtually rewriting history.
Immigration has led to the fall of Empires since the beginning of history. It has created massive wars, the death of millions, the destruction of homelands, and the loss of societal rule.
The UN and European governments are well aware of this fact and yet it would appear that despite history they embrace the absolute collapse of all of Europe in the coming future as cultures clash, crime spirals out of control, and the military and police are told by their governments to '' stand down. Rape is now considered a 'cultural norm' and dismissed. Sharia Law is upheld. Europe is facing a catastrophic fall parallel to The Great Fall of Rome.
And like every great historical collapse, it is not about The People '' it is about a Revolution built on Communism/Socialism/Power and Evil.
Each successive US President has advocated for the same thing; border wall, illegal stagnation, and retribution for those who attempt to circumvent US Law. And somehow, Trump is the 'demon'. The reality is that Merkel, Macron and May have sold Europe to chaos. I would venture, this is not the will of The People. It is however, the will of the Government, and as such is being actioned. To what gain? TO the absolute fall of Europe as was historically The Fall Of Rome which ushered in a dark age, and the ultimate auto rule of The Vatican as Lord over Kings, Queens, and People.
It does not define the Catholic People, it defines a corrupt Vatican. It does not define a Political People, it defines a corrupt government. A corrupt power block. And it is time, to take back our world. It is time to shift the axis from the imbalance of evil and embrace '' good.
Because in a universe that thrives on good and evil, sometimes, the balance skews. Don't give up. It is more important than ever to fight! Faith! Hope! We will Overcome!
Once again the G20 Summit managed to accomplish nothing more than a 'commitment'. Empty words without action that somehow makes the members feel all cozy. Fair and Sustainable Development with a focus on people. WOW! Wouldn't that equate to the same protocol each and every year wherein the members go home and release statements to their people about what they hope to accomplish by 2030 and 2050 when they are dead and gone'...
Agenda 2014: discuss coordinated growth strategies as well as finalizing agreements on core financial reforms, and actions on tax and anti-corruption.
Agenda 2015: discuss the world's biggest political and security crises, including Syria and the mass migration of refugees
Agenda 2016: discuss climate change, pollution in China, combating nationalist attacks against globalization, tax evasion, support of refugees, international trade, and economic growth
Agenda 2017: discuss, international trade, financial regulation, women's empowerment, migration, digitization, occupation, health and the US withdrawal from the Paris Accord.
But what has changed?
2014 '' nothing.
2015 '' nothing until Trump and Russia put an end to ISIS in 2017
2016 '' climate change? Germany's footprint '' greater, China's footprint '' greater, money spent? Africa where there is no footprint. Tax Evasion? Nothing. Refugees? Crime.
In essence, these meetings are held to give the impression that the UN has some actual authority and change is being made under their auspices when in fact they continue to be a burgeoning bloated waste of money without successes, mired in sex scandals, and wholly non-transparent in financial and asset statements.
The US contributes an amount equal to the total contributions of: Italy, Canada, Germany, UK, and France.
For 2017, the Board of Auditors for the UN identified an unidentified misappropriation in the amount of $1.5 million. They noted over $24 million of goods and services that were not delivered as stated. ''The creation of outstanding commitments where they are not warranted results in overstatement of reported expenditure and inadequate provision for unencumbered balances for the biennium'...''
In laymen's terms this means they were fudging/playing with the books.
The Board of Auditors noted that:
'Gift collections' were not recorded because physical verification was not allowed, the system that tabulated was no longer working, and internal controls were lacking and/or weak. The Board noted that the UN was using temp employees to fill high level leadership positions, and noted shortlistings of unsuitable and unavailable candidates. The Board noted a lack of reporting and oversight mechanisms in delegation of procurement authority. 36% of system contracts were extended beyond the rule of 5 years. There were delays in disbursement of 21% of funds, and noted that their 'anti-corruption and anti-fraud' departments were basically not implemented at all. And finally, the UN's safety and Security Department did not monitor or implement required system policies'...
Their computer systems are so outdated that the Audit Board is required to manually make financial adjustments to their record keeping, a process that is ridiculously expensive, tedious, and subject to error.
In other words, this 'very successful' organization that is supposed to promote peace, women's rights, economic growth, etc.., etc'... runs a bookkeeping system worthy of Vinnie and Co., while spending billions of dollars on their salaries and pensions, immersed in massive accounts of rape and sexual abuse, mired in corruption within their cash flows, missing millions of dollars, '' this organization wants to tell all the countries of the world how to manage their country'...
The report is 276 pages, the first 81 are dedicated to 'recommendations' as a direct result of mismanagement, errors, corruption, and missing money.
The report goes on and on ad nauseum identifying malfunctions within their self health insurance plan that had not been updated since 2000. Funds that are deposited in the wrong account. And admonishing because the Geneva staffing is bursting at the seams with useless staff and desperately is in need of massive streamlining.
This is what happens when politicians run the finances of the world. It ain't pretty. And I want a refund.
The United Nations Headquarters and all additional 'Palaces' are considered sovereign (that nationalist word that is taboo)and not subject to the local laws '' that means they pay no tax. The Headquarters located in opulent downtown Manhattan is comprised of 18 acres of land hosting palatial buildings and guarded by roughly 1500 security guards who are equipped with weapons and handcuffs'... Like Vatican City. In addition, the UN has three subsidiary headquarters located in Geneva, Kenya and Vienna. In 2007, a refurbishment began at the Manhattan office with estimates for the construction topping $3 billion. Land in Manhattan runs approximately $7 million per acre.
The weaponry that a UN Peacekeeping Soldier must carry is not unlike a soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq. However, the gear is considered ''Light Equipment'' and despite tactical gear has resulted in death, stress, and mental issues due to the constant guerrilla attacks'... in their successful peaceful accords. According to the UN, they need heavy equipment!
In the end, this agency is rife in fraud, ensconced in corruption, riddled with mismanagement, and impregnated with a budget that is about nefarious individuals who line their pockets while telling the world how to line theirs so they won't look so bad'...
Theresa May has spent her entire term in office as Prime Minister of the UK trying and failing to implement BREXIT. Nothing else at all marks her tenure of the last 2 ½ years. And still, the supposed deal she executed that was approved by the EU but not her constituents or the people, will likely fail.
The 'Deal' still demands the UK be on the hook with the EU to ante up $39 billion for the privilege of exiting. Trade and borders will remain unaffected. Migration will likely increase as May has announced that she will vote to uphold the UN migration pact. And in the end, the only change will be the ante!
Of course that doesn't include the annual cost to the UK of the 'negotiations' which has been estimated to be about 26 billion pounds. Financial experts have stated that if Parliament fails to approve the current deal the pound will tank upwards of 25%. Sounds a bit like the last tanking initiated under the guidance of George Soros when the Bank of England '' tanked, September 16, 1992.
Did Soros short the pound again?
Since 2014, the UK GDP growth rate has continued to drop. The pedophilia scandal that was purported to involve over 1400 perpetrators and hundreds of thousands of victims '' has stalled. UK crime rates have been on an uptick spike since 2014. The jobs market and earnings growth have dropped.
And Theresa May has spent every single moment of her time in office wearily defeated by the gamers who drew her into the web of BREXIT manipulation. One might feel sorry for her if she were simply a victim, but she chose her allies and bartered the UK.
The European Union, the UN, do the bidding of Soros and the Rothschilds. If a country chooses to defy either, Soros will seek vengeance, create sanctions, and undermine law and the economy. As national conservatives in the EU take root, ramping up antagonist moves becomes more and more a priority for the Soros/Rothschild Cabal. Fake information has become the tagline target as everything anti EU, everything anti-Soros, everything anti-Socialism is targeted as fake information.
Even Facebook has become a target as Soros demands the resignation of Zuckerberg from this mega-conglomerate that has reached an astonishing value estimated to be over $500 billion and utilized by roughly 2.3 billion people monthly. Of course Soros wants control of this power. From his perspective, Zuckerberg is a peon, worthless in his game of thrones.
The question remains, if in fact Soros anticipates BREXIT will fail and the pound will tank, that would also mean he has no more use for the UK as an economy.
In the game of chess, the moves are never random, they are thought out with a future checkmate preconceived. All the pieces are aligned, the opponents moves calculated instinctively. Theresa May had no chess game, she simply moved her pawns randomly in one failed directive, BREXIT, while the queen, bishops, and horsemen yawned.
If BREXIT fails again as predicted, what would be the outcome for The People?
Despite calls for the UK citizens to vote on the BRXIT deal, May has refused citing time. Time. Is that not an age old ploy utilized by politicians in their eye rolling game? Delay until anxiety is so high the people will accept anything'...
While the people of Germany have succumbed to Socialism, the people of the UK have succumbed to the Lords of chaos. Ultimately, both will suddenly awaken and fight for their lives and salvation only to realize that too is all part of the chess game.
BREXIT was a deflection. It gave hope wherein the hope would not be attained, at least not within the same frame that it was created.
The only way to rise above the chessmen is to understand the game, see the reality of who is good and who is evil, and join forces with the likes of William Wallace. Freedom! He may have been a Scotsman, but he represents all men who fight for their country!
Our Universe is created within the absolutes of good and evil. One can not exist without the other, just as light only exists because there is darkness. Our small world is subject to these universal laws. Our genetic makeup predisposes us to certain diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimers, it also predicates down syndrome and intellect. Christians believe that every human's DNA consists of the knowledge of God. It is also accepted that every individual is born with good and evil DNA. Two questions: Could a genetic mutation cause a persons' good and evil balance to be askew? Could that skew be 'genetically modified'?
Thousands of years and every society known to man has created a concept of good and evil representative according to their unique vision. Mythology, Paganism they always depict good vs evil in some form. Christianity has God vs Satan. The American Indians had Ioskeha and Tawiscara as their good and evil symbolism. The forces of these two opponents that battle for eternity can shift wherein an imbalance occurs and Discordia reigns.
Everything on this natural God-made earth was intricately created in a perfect pattern. In the rain forest it is most evident. Every creature, every flora, have a purpose. Disrupt that purpose, extract a single subject matter of the natural flow and the entire rain forest system begins to implode devolving into chaos.
GMO's have are their advocates and their naysayers. Many things on our planet have undergone genetic modification for a century from genetically modified flowers so that we can have flowers in abundance, to genetically modified fruits so we can grow them year round, to fish farms, dairy cow hormones, etc'... But despite the efforts of science, no human life can be created from 'scratch', not even a seed, which is why we have seed banks.
GMO flowers have no scent, GMO fruits lack the same vitamins and minerals, and farm fish have no color, it has to be injected into them. The GMO Yellow Rice was a complete horror as it had little nutrient value. But that hasn't deterred science. They have manipulated weather patterns having no idea what the negative ramifications will be, they have injected us with vaccines without any testing as to the entire cocktail effect, and they now want to inject particles into the atmosphere to black the sun so as to slow global warming.
Back to good and evil.
Every one of us has witnessed people whose balance of evil seems chaotic. Is the imbalance a choice? Does a person have the free will to choose? Or is the discord a genetic mutation that can be modified'... like a flower, like fruit? And will doing so potentially remove a person's soul, like the loss of scent or nutrients?
On the other side of the coin, many of us have personally witnessed people whose balance of good seems phenomenally out of proportion. There are incredibly amazing heroes in our midst that we rarely recognize. Military soldiers. They make 'a choice' within free will to eject themselves into chaos and risk death and torture. They suffer fallout that we now call PTSD. This doesn't mean 'the military' I refer to individuals.
They are a sort of super human in that their balance of good far outweighs their balance of evil.
Science more often than not does not recognize consequences. Science will do nearly anything in order to change the natural course, in order to genetically modify everything God created. Including humans.
If science experimented with humans '' modifying their genetics so as to create a human more good or more evil, what would be the consequence?
Science is infinitely arrogant. Manipulating a person's natural genetics without knowing the extent of the consequences, that person would no longer have free will to choose, nor would that person be able to refer back to their original self. They would in essence become a GMO, a genetically modified organism. But we know that science has been feverishly working for decades to implant AI in humans, to bionically alter humans, to create a super human '' without understanding that such alterations may also result in that human losing their soul.
Evil in this world has shifted to an imbalance. It is out of concordance. It is not natural. To think that 'choosing' evil over good is the only cause seems somewhat short sighted. When our heroes are diluted and evil men and women are praised, certainly the powers of evil have risen beyond their natural evolutionary boundaries and there is something more involved than simply 'choice'. And science, transhumanism, AI, super humans, genetically modified humans seems more and more a possibility.
Our Company | New Knowledge
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:08
The future relies on trust.We are living in a crisis of trust - and societies in which citizens can't trust their information sources are vulnerable to collapse. It's no secret that in today's information-rich society, the lines between fact and fiction have blurred.New Knowledge is on a mission to make it easier to monitor and defend against damaging social media security risks and disinformation so the truth will prevail in our public discourse.
We've entered the age of information warIn August 2014, the world was shocked by a gruesome video of journalist James Foley's brutal murder, broadcast on platforms normally reserved for debating the news and sharing family photos. The information was a weapon, deployed from a small army of coordinated social media accounts, intended to infect western media, manipulate public perception, and impact US counter-terrorism policy.
That same month, the gaming community was rocked by a massive harrassment campaign. Tens of thousands of people coordinated high-volume, ruthless attacks against female game developers -- the campaign was so relentless that it's become synonymous with online abuse. This anonymous, leaderless movement also used information as a weapon to manipulate public perception and impact a $75B industry.
Whether terrorists or culture warriors, it was clear to us that these weren't isolated incidents. From our positions in media, technology, and national security, we knew this was a critical vulnerability in the design of our information ecosystem. Using tactics that are cheap, repeatable, and effective, this vulnerability would be exploited by extremists, governments, and eventually corporations conducting computational propaganda that shape buying behavior and even influence democratic elections.
By 2016 we'd developed the disinformation protection tools to track disinformation operations in real time, and were the first organization outside the US intelligence community to identify Russia's campaign to influence the US presidential election. As the information war escalated, we believed it was our responsibility to provide a reliable disinformation solution to national security agencies and corporations.
We formed New Knowledge to defend public discourse.
Reach out to learn more about how New Knowledge can keep your brand safe from damaging disinformation.
A young startup with a timely offer: fighting propaganda campaigns online '' TechCrunch
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:30
The prevalence of so-called fake news is far worse than we imagined even a few months ago. Just last week, Twitter admitted there were more than 50,000 Russian bots trying to confuse American voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
It isn't just elections that should concern us, though. So argues Jonathon Morgan, the co-founder and CEO of New Knowledge, a two-and-a-half-year-old, Austin-based cybersecurity company that's gathering up clients looking to fight online disinformation. (Worth noting: The 15-person outfit has also quietly gathered up $1.9 million in seed funding led by Moonshots Capital, with participation from Haystack, GGV Capital, Geekdom Fund, Capital Factory and Spitfire Ventures.)
We talked earlier this week with Morgan, a former digital content producer and State Department counterterrorism advisor, to learn more about his product, which is smartly using concerns about fake social media accounts and propaganda campaigns to work with brands eager to preserve their reputation. Our chat has been edited lightly for length and clarity.
TC: Tell us a little about your background.
TC: How did that experience lead to you focusing on tech that tries to understand how social media platforms are manipulated?
TC: When ISIS was employing techniques to jam conversations into social media, conversations that were elevated in the American press, we started trying to figure out how they were pushing their message. I did a little work for the Brookings Institution, which led to some work as a data science advisor to the State Department '-- developing counterterrorism strategies and understanding what public discourse looks like online and the difference between mainstream communication and what that looks like when it's been hijacked.
TC: Now you're pitching this service you've developed with your team to brands. Why?
JM: The same mechanics and tactics used by ISIS are now being used by much more sophisticated actors, from hostile governments to kids who are coordinating activity on the internet to undermine things they don't like for cultural reasons. They'll take Black Lives activists and immigration-focused conservatives and amplify their discord, for example. We've also seen alt-right supporters on 4chan undermine movie releases. These kinds of digital insurgencies are being used by a growing number of actors to manipulate the way that the public has conversations online.
We realized we could use the same ideas and tech to defend companies that are vulnerable to these attacks. Energy companies, financial institutions, other companies managing critical infrastructure '-- they're all equally vulnerable. Election manipulation is just the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the degradation of our discourse.
TC: Yours is a SaaS product, I take it. How does it work?
JM: Yes, it's enterprise software. Our tech analyzes conversations across multiple platforms '-- social media and otherwise '-- and looks for signs that it's being tampered with, identifies who is doing the tampering and what messaging they are using to manipulate the conversation. With that information, our [customer] can decide how to respond. Sometimes it's to work with the press. Sometimes it's to work with social media companies to say, ''These are disingenuous and even fraudulent.'' We then work with the companies to remediate the threat.
TC: Which social media companies are the most responsive to these attempted interventions?
JM: There's a strong appetite for fixing the problem at all the media companies we talk with. Facebook and Google have addressed this publicly, but there's action taking place between friends behind closed doors. A lot of individuals at these companies think there are problems that need to be solved, and they are amendable to [working with us].
The challenge for them is that I'm not sure they have a sense for who is responsible for [disinformation much of they time]. That's why they've been slow to address the problem. We think we add value as a partner because we're focused on this at a much smaller scale. Whereas Facebook is thinking about billions of users, we're focused on tens of thousands of accounts and conversations, which is still a meaningful number and can impact public perception of a brand.
TC: Who are some of your customers?
JM: We [aren't authorized to name them but] we sell to companies in the entertainment and energy and finance industries. We've also worked with public interest organizations, including the Alliance for Securing Democracy.
TC: What's the sales process like? Are you looking for shifts in conversations, then reaching out to the companies impacted, or are companies finding you?
JM: Both. Either we discover something or we'll be approached and do an initial threat assessment to understand the landscape and who might be targeting an organization and from there, [we'll decide with the potential client] whether there's value in them in engaging with us in an ongoing way.
TC: A lot of people have been talking this week about a New York Times piece that seemed to offer a glimmer of hope that blockchain platforms will move us beyond the internet as we know it today and away from the few large tech companies that also happen to be breeding grounds for disinformation. Is that the future or is ''fake news'' here to stay?
JM: Unfortunately, online disinformation is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Advances in AI mean that it will soon be possible to manufacture images, audio and even video at unprecedented scale. Automated accounts that seem almost human will be able to engage directly with millions of users, just like your real friends on Facebook, Twitter or the next social media platform.
New technologies like blockchain that give us robust ways to establish trust will be a part of the solution, if they're not a magic bullet.
Advisory Council '' Alliance For Securing Democracy
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:32
Advisory Council Nick Nigro 2018-06-24T19:04:12+00:00 Mike Chertoff was U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009. There, he worked to strengthen U.S. borders, provide intelligence analysis, and protect infrastructure. He increased the Department's focus on preparedness ahead of disasters, and implemented enhanced security at airports and borders. Following Hurricane Katrina, Chertoff helped to transform FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) into an effective organization. He also served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals Judge from 2003''05. He co-founded the Chertoff Group, a risk-management and security consulting company, and works as senior of counsel at the Washington, DC law firm Covington & Burling.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves was elected president of the Republic of Estonia in 2006 and in 2011. During his presidency, Ilves was appointed to serve in several high positions in the field of information and communication technology in the European Union. He previously served as minister of foreign affairs and as the ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the United States and Canada in Washington. Ilves was also a member of the Estonian Parliament, as well as a member of the European Parliament, where he was vice president of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He now co-chairs the World Economic Forum working group The Global Futures Council on Blockchain Technology. He is currently a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
David J. Kramer joined Florida International University's Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs as a senior fellow in the Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy in May 2017. Before moving to Miami, Kramer had worked in Washington, DC for 24 years, most recently as senior director for Human Rights and Democracy with The McCain Institute for International Leadership. Before that, he served for four years as president of Freedom House. Prior to that, he was a senior transatlantic fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. Kramer served eight years in the U.S. Department of State during the George W. Bush administration, including as assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs; professional staff member in the Secretary's Office of Policy Planning; and senior advisor to the undersecretary for Global Affairs. Kramer is a member of the board of directors of the Halifax International Security Forum and a member of the advisory council for the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Human Freedom Project.
William Kristol is the editor at large of the influential political journal, The Weekly Standard. Before starting that magazine in 1995, Kristol served in government, first as chief of staff to Secretary of Education William Bennett during the Reagan administration, and then as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle in the George H. W. Bush administration. Kristol has also served on the board of the Project for the New American Century (1997''2005) and the Foreign Policy Initiative (2009''17). Before coming to Washington in 1985, Kristol taught government at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.
Rick Ledgett has four decades of experience in intelligence, cybersecurity, and cyber operations, including 29 years with the National Security Agency where he served as deputy director from January 2014 until his retirement in April 2017. In that capacity he was responsible for providing foreign intelligence and protecting the nation's most important national security-related networks. Rick is a senior visiting fellow at The MITRE Corporation, a director on the Board of M&T Bank, serves as a trustee on the Board of the Institute for Defense Analyses, and is a member of several corporate advisory boards.
Michael McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as special assistant to the president and senior director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House from 2009 to 2012, and then as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation from 2012''14. He is currently professor of political science, director, and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post.
Michael Morell was acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2011 and again from 2012 to 2013, and had previously served as deputy director and director for Intelligence at the Agency. In his over thirty years at the CIA, Morell played a central role in the United States' fight against terrorism, its initiatives to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and its efforts to respond to trends that are altering the international landscape '-- including the Arab Spring, the rise of China, and the cyber threat. He was one of the leaders in the search for Osama bin Laden and participated in the deliberations that led to the raid that killed bin Laden in May 2011. He has been with Beacon Global Strategies as a senior counselor since November 2013.
Ana Palacio is an international lawyer specializing in international and European Union law. Ms. Palacio is a Member of the Council of State of Spain and is the Founding Partner of the law and public affairs firm Palacio y Asociados.
Between 1994 and 2002, Ms. Palacio was a Member of the European Parliament, where she chaired the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee as well as the Citizens Rights, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. She participated as member of the Presidium of the Convention for the Future of Europe (2001-2003) in the debate and drafting of the European Constitution. In 2002, Ms. Palacio became the first woman to serve as Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain (2002-2004). She was a Member of the Spanish Parliament (2004 to 2006), where she chaired the Joint Committee of the Two Houses for European Union Affairs. She has been Senior Vice-President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group and Secretary General of ICSID (2006-2008), and she has been a member of the Executive Committee and Senior Vice-President for International Affairs of AREVA (2008-2009).
She is a member of the Board of Enags (Spanish gas system), Pharmamar (biotechnology), and AEE Power (energy infrastructure). She is a member of the International Advisory Boards of Investcorp (a world-leading manager of alternative investments) and Office Ch(C)rifien des Phosphates '' OCP '' (fertilizers); and of the Governing Council of the Instituto de Empresa (business school). She is a member of the Board as well as of the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council of the United States. Further, Ms. Palacio serves as member of the External Advisory Board of the US former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz's Energy Futures Initiative, of the Advisory Board of the Sandra Day O'Connor Justice Prize and of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Human Sciences. She has recently been appointed as member of the Global Leadership Foundation.
Ms. Palacio publishes regularly in periodicals and journals. In particular, she maintains a monthly column at Project Syndicate. She is a visiting professor at the Edmund E. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is also a recurrent participant and speaker at international conferences and fora, most recently giving evidence on post-Brexit foreign and defense cooperation before the UK House of Lords' European Union External Affairs Sub-Committee.
In 2016, Ms. Palacio was presented with the Sandra Day O'Connor Justice Prize for extraordinary contributions to the rule of law, justice and human rights by the O'Connor School of Law at Arizona State University, and was awarded the insignia of Officier of the Order of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic.
John Podesta served as Chair of Hillary for America. Prior to joining Hillary Clinton's campaign he served as Counselor to President Barack Obama.
In 2008, he served as co-chair of President Obama's transition team, where he coordinated the priorities of the incoming administration's agenda, oversaw the development of its policies, and spearheaded its appointments of major cabinet secretaries and political appointees.
He is the former Chair of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Prior to founding the Center in 2003, Podesta served as White House Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton.
He also recently served on the President's Global Development Council and the UN Secretary General's High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Additionally, Podesta has held numerous positions on Capitol Hill, including counselor to Democratic Leader Sen. Thomas A. Daschle (1995-1996).
A Chicago native, Podesta is a graduate of Knox College and the Georgetown University Law Center, where he is currently a visiting professor of law.
He is the author of The Power of Progress: How America's Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate and Our Country.
Mike Rogers is a former member of Congress, officer in the Army, and FBI special agent. In the U.S. House he chaired the Intelligence Committee, becoming a leader on cybersecurity and national security policy, and overseeing the 17 intelligence agencies' $70 billion budget. Today Mike is a CNN national security commentator, and hosts and produces CNN's ''Declassified.'' He serves as Chief Security Adviser to AT&T, sits on the board of IronNet Cybersecurity and MITRE Corporation, and advises Next Century Corporation and Trident Capital. He is Distinguished Fellow and Trustee at Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center at Harvard University.
Kori Schake has served in various policy roles including at the White House for the National Security Council, at the Department of Defense for the Office of the Secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff, and at the State Department for the Policy Planning Staff. During the 2008 presidential election, she was senior policy advisor on the McCain''Palin campaign. She is now a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is the editor, with Jim Mattis, of the book Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military. She teaches at Stanford, is a contributing editor covering national security and international affairs at The Atlantic, columnist for Foreign Policy magazine, and a contributor to War on the Rocks.
Julianne ''Julie'' Smith served as the deputy national security advisor to the U.S. vice president from 2012 to 2013, acting national security advisor to the vice president in 2013, and principal director for European and NATO policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. Smith is currently senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy (Ret.) served as commander of European Command and as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe from 2009 to 2013. He commanded U.S. Southern Command in Miami from 2006''09 and commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Arabian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom from 2002''04. He was a strategic and long-range planner on the staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has also served as the executive assistant to the secretary of the navy and as senior military assistant to the secretary of defense. He is now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and chairman of the U.S. Naval Institute board of directors.
Jake Sullivan served in the Obama administration as national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was the senior policy advisor on Secretary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. He is now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Martin R. Flug visiting lecturer in law at Yale Law School.
Nicole Wong served as deputy U.S. chief technology officer in the Obama administration, where she focused on internet, privacy, and innovation policy. Prior to her time in government, Nicole was Google's vice president and deputy general counsel, and Twitter's legal director for products. She frequently speaks on issues related to law and technology. Nicole chairs the board of Friends of Global Voices, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting citizen and online media projects globally. She also sits on the boards of WITNESS, an organization supporting the use of video to advance human rights, and the Mozilla Foundation, which promotes open internet. Nicole currently serves as an advisor to the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard Business School Digital Initiative, the Democratic National Committee Cybersecurity advisory board, Refactor Capital, and the Albright Stonebridge Group.
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:27
Jonathon Morgan is the founder and CEO of New Knowledge, a technology company that provides disinformation defense to brands and national security customers. He is also the founder of Data for Democracy, a policy, research, and volunteer collective with nearly 4,000 members that's bridging the gap between technology and society. Prior to founding New Knowledge, Jonathon published research about extremist groups manipulating social media with the Brookings Institution, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post, presented at NATO's Center of Excellence for Defense Against Terrorism, the United States Institute for Peace, and the African Union. He also served as an adviser to the US State Department, developing strategies for digital counter-terrorism. Jonathon regularly provides expert commentary about online disinformation for publications such as NYT, NBC, NPR, and Wired, and has published op-eds about information warfare and computational propaganda for CNN, The Guardian, and VICE.
How Unwitting Americans Encountered Russian Operatives Online
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:33
Image About a dozen people protested against what they called the threat of radical Islam in Houston in May 2016. They were met by a much larger crowd of counterprotesters. Both sides were organized by Russian groups. Credit Credit Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle They were politically active Americans scattered around the country, dedicating their spare time to the 2016 presidential campaign or various causes. And the seeming fellow activists who called them to rallies via Facebook, or joined in the free-for-all on Twitter, appeared unremarkable.
Except that their English sometimes seemed a little odd.
''We are looking for friendship because we are fighting for the same reasons,'' someone purporting to be with an online group calling itself Blacktivist wrote via Twitter to the Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III, a Baltimore pastor, in April 2016. ''Actually we are open for your thoughts and offers.''
In late October 2016, in Nederland, Tex., the Texas Nationalist Movement got a Facebook message from someone representing a group called Heart of Texas, which planned to organize rallies in favor of Texas secession on the eve of the election. But on a follow-up call, ''something was off,'' said Daniel Miller, the president of the Texas Nationalist Movement.
Despite their wariness, neither Dr. Brown nor Mr. Miller had any inkling of what was really behind those odd encounters. Heart of Texas and Blacktivist were phony groups, part of a sweeping Russian disinformation campaign that was funded with millions of dollars and carried out by 80 people operating out of St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Russian attempt at long-distance choreography was playing out in many cities across the United States. Facebook has disclosed that about 130 rallies were promoted by 13 of the Russian pages, which reached 126 million Americans with provocative content on race, guns, immigration and other volatile issues.
An indictment filed in court on Friday by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the election, laid out for the first time, in riveting detail, how Russia carried out its campaign on social media. And while the indictment did not suggest any involvement by President Trump or his associates, it did say many Americans engaged with the Russian trolls without knowing who or where they really were.
''Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities,'' the indictment said. Among others, it said, the Russians contacted ''a real U.S. person affiliated with a Texas-based grass-roots organization,'' who advised them to focus their efforts on ''purple states like Colorado, Virginia and Florida.''
The indictment did not name the activist, but Mr. Miller said in an interview that the mention had set off a slightly unnerving guessing game in his state as to who the helpful Texan might be. It was not him, he said.
''Every organization in Texas that's been politically involved over the last few years is sort of eyeing the other ones,'' said Mr. Miller, whose group decided not to endorse the Heart of Texas rallies. ''Mueller's team needs to clarify this.'' (A spokesman for Mr. Mueller declined to comment.)
Sometimes the Russian efforts fell flat. Dr. Brown had challenged Blacktivist on Twitter because it seemed to be an out-of-town group, yet it was calling for a Baltimore rally to mark the anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray, who sustained a fatal injury while in police custody. The pastor had no idea just how far out of town.
''The way you're going about this is deeply offensive to those of us who are from Baltimore and have been organizing here all our lives,'' Dr. Brown wrote to the stranger.
Seemingly chastened, Blacktivist replied, ''This must be really wrong. I feel ashamed.''
The pastor replied: ''Post a public apology. Cancel the event and take your cues from those working locally.''
The Heart of Texas group had more success with a Houston rally to ''Stop the Islamization of Texas,'' which provoked an angry confrontation in May 2016. United Muslims of America, another Russian creation, called its own rally to ''Save Islamic Knowledge'' for the same time and place, outside the Islamic Da'wah Center.
A dozen people who turned out for the first event, some carrying rifles, Confederate flags and a banner saying ''White Lives Matter,'' faced off across a street with a far larger crowd of counterprotesters. The police kept the crowds apart, and there was no trouble at the event, which was caught on video.
Later, on social media, some puzzled participants complained that no one from Heart of Texas, which had about 250,000 likes on Facebook, had shown up for the group's own rally.
But the online pitches reached a big audience. In written answers to questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee, Facebook said some 338,300 people saw the announcements of rallies promoted by the bogus pages '-- and 62,500 said they planned to attend one. Those numbers are modest against the background of the entire presidential campaign, but they show that the Russians were able not just to attract Americans to their ersatz groups but actually manipulate their actions.
''The fact that they got people to show up at real-world events is impressive,'' said Renee DiResta, the head of policy at Data for Democracy, a nonprofit that has studied the Russian activity. ''What we have is an engine for reaching people and growing an audience, which is fantastic. But this shows that it can be used for very shady purposes.''
Video How do bots and trolls work to infiltrate social media platforms and influence U.S. elections? We take a closer look at these insidious online pests to explain how they work. Published On Oct. 31, 2017Facebook's vice president for advertising, Rob Goldman, said on Twitter on Friday, ''I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal'' '-- a statement that President Trump retweeted.
But Mr. Mueller's indictment repeatedly states that the Russian operation was designed not just to provoke division among Americans but also to denigrate Hillary Clinton and support her rivals, mainly Mr. Trump. The hashtags the Russian operation used included #Trump2016, #TrumpTrain, #MAGA and #Hillary4Prison, and one Russian operative was reprimanded for ''a low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton,'' the indictment says.
A glance at the Russian posts supports the idea that they focus on candidates. Heart of Texas ran an unflattering portrait of Mrs. Clinton with the tag ''Pure Evil''; posted a fake photo of her shaking hands with Osama bin Laden; and paired her with Adolf Hitler as a supporter of gun control. Mr. Trump was shown surrounded by police officers wearing Trump hats and grinning outside a fake cage with Mrs. Clinton inside.
While most of the Americans duped by the Russian trolls were not public figures, some higher-profile people were fooled. The indictment mentions the Russian Twitter feed @TEN_GOP, which posed as a Tennessee Republican account and attracted more than 100,000 followers. It was retweeted by Donald Trump Jr.; Kellyanne Conway, the president's counselor; Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser; and his son, Michael Flynn Jr.
They have expressed no regret that they were apparently taken in by the Russian operatives. Instead, since Friday's indictment, Donald Trump Jr., like his father, has pointed mainly to the fact that it did not accuse the president or his associates of assisting the Russian operation.
Jeremy Bowers contributed research.
Read the special counsel's indictment against 13 Russians and three companies here.
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Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:25
Organizations (21)These are groups of technologists, technology-minded folk, or those using technology to help activists.
Code for America The godmother of modern Civic Technology, Code for America has helped hundreds of activists and civic governments for over a decade. "We help government deliver services to the public better using the tools and practices of the digital age. And we organize a network of people dedicated to spreading these practices in government for the benefit of all Americans. Since 2011, we've worked with thousands of tech industry professionals to help 100+ local governments serve their communities better. Now we're working with government to make the most of our tax dollars to help millions of underserved Americans." Join DevProgress DevProgress is an Open Source community dedicated to building tools for progressive organizing. Created by the DNC as a resource for Hillary 2016 campaign, DevProgress built a collection of tools and sites to support Hillary for America. DevProgress is going to continue on as an Open Source community dedicated to building tools for progressive organizing. It will continue being affiliated with the DNC. The projects that DevProgress take on are largely driven by what the DevProgress developer community is interested in working on, and what the DNC thinks would be nice to have. Anyone can sign up here: devprogress.us. Join Ragtag Ragtag is a team of tech-generation volunteers and activists working to support progressive causes and organizations. We are not affiliated with the DNC, though we are still good friends. :) Ragtag works on projects that range from building software, to writing how-to guides, to providing in-person tech support for organizers and activists in their communities. Ragtag's project ideas come from group members, and from requests from external groups. Sign up to join at ragtag.team/join. Orgs and other groups can get in touch with Ragtag about getting help with projects or tech support by heading to ragtag.team/connect. Join Tech Solidarity Tech Solidarity is intended to bring the tech world together with the local communities where it lives to discuss practical steps we can take in the face of a Trump administration, while there is still ample time to prepare and plan. We'll operate on the assumption that Trump means what he says, and that he will work to implement the policies he campaigned on, including mass deportations, "extreme vetting" of immigrants and visitors, and a registry of Muslim Americans. Together we hope we can find ways to minimize the impact of these policies, help people defend their rights (and fight back), and lobby the companies we work to stop collecting and storing sensitive data wherever possible. Join Beta NYC BetaNYC is a civic organization dedicated to improving lives in New York through civic design, technology, and data. We envision an informed and empowered public that can leverage civic design, technology, and data to hold government accountable, and improve their economic opportunity. Join DataKind DataKind couples data scientists with non-profits to address their analytical, visualization, and modeling needs. From evening or weekend events to multi-month projects, all are designed to provide social organizations with the pro bono data science skills they need to address a range of issues across education, poverty, health, human rights, the environment and cities. Join Data For Democracy Data for Democracy is a community of data people volunteering on social impact projects. It is a virtual organization that operates through Slack and Github. Current project areas include election transparency, analysis of online communities and the extreme right, campaign spending, and more. Join Data Refuge DataRefuge is building refuge for federal climate and environmental data vulnerable under an administration that denies the fact of ongoing climate change at Data Rescue events across America. It is an opportunity for civic hackers, scientists, activists, and volunteers of all kinds to to identify, back-up, and help to preserve at-risk climate and environmental data resources before they are suppressed from public view and use. Join Tech Resistance The tech community at its best stands for openness, inclusion, collaboration and innovation. These values stand in stark contrast to the kind of world the Trump Administration is trying to create. As members of the tech community we commit to resisting the Trump Administration's efforts to divide, to silence, to persecute and to oppress. We will resist by harnessing our unique skills and resources behind efforts to promote truth, engage citizens, hold elected officials accountable, and push for justice. Join Progressive Coders Network Volunteer coders behind Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign cemented the role of volunteer tech in politics. Hundreds of coders created online tools for his campaign, boosting the movement by engaging millions of people to vote, volunteer, and inform themselves about the issues. We're building on that momentum and creating a sustainable network of volunteers: creating open-source tools for the progressive movement; helping progressive campaigns compete without needing millions of dollars in funding; enabling them to champion a platform centered in social and economic justice without big money's influence. Join Code Corps We help people build simple software that solves hard problems. Here's our plan: We're matching developers and designers, project managers and marketers '' any and every talent '' to ambitious projects that need their help. We're educating and training, developing and encouraging people who build public software. We want to help projects be successful and people to do their best work. We're building a crowdfunding platform to support ongoing work. We aim to keep funders engaged in projects and connected to the teams they're supporting. We're developing tools to help people collaborate on, organize, and even distribute their work. We're listening closely to hear what needs built, and then building it. Join Tech For Justice Tech For Justice® is an initiative to accelerate the development of technology applications and processes that improve access to justice in human rights, legal aid, and the environment. We aim to support those who need critical help more efficiently, and change processes that no longer serve the people. Technology provides communities with the ability to gather around targeted problems. Join Trans*H4CK We shift the ways trans*, gender non conforming, agender and non binary people live by creating technology that economically empowers, improves access to social services, promotes gender safety and community sustainability, while bringing visibility to trans* tech innovators and entrepreneurs. Join Tech for Campaigns Tech for Campaigns (TFC) is a community where world class tech talent and progressive, centrist political campaigns in need of volunteer man-power come together. The promise is not only different political outcomes but the sustained engagement of people concerned with the direction America is going. Join Tech Workers Coalition We are a coalition of workers in and around the tech industry, labor organizers, community organizers, and friends. We are organizing for activism, civic engagement and education in the Bay Area. We work in solidarity with existing movements towards social justice, workers rights, and economic inclusion. Join WTF Volunteer Switchboard Mid-term elections are just around the corner. It's time to be extraordinary. Volunteer Switchboard is our first project:Connecting talented volunteers to opportunities to win elections.Wondering what you can do to stop Trump? Join Catchafire Catchafire connects social good organizations with pro bono professionals who want to donate their skills Join Debug Politics Debug Politics hosts events aimed at converting the tech community's frustration with politics into meaningful action. Let's use our talents as developers, designers, and technologists to find innovative ways to make a real difference. Join The Digital Service Thousands of people go to work every day to defend our rights, protect at-risk populations and organizations, and provide opportunities and resources for those in need.Whether you care about immigration, civic engagement, education, jobs, or the environment, there are lawyers, non-profits and activists who are working to solve problems and they need your help. Connect with the people who have dedicated their lives to serving the people, and be of service to them. Join Project 501 Project 501 matches non-profit organizations with talented professionals who want to donate their skills. Skill-based volunteer projects offer meaningful opportunities for volunteers to make an impact. Join Techs and Balances We are a community of 100+ Engineers, Designers, and Product Managers devoted to building tools that make a positive impact - from standalone apps to integrations and enhancements for existing organizations and movements. We do not charge for our services, though we do pursue creative ways to capitalize projects for devops, server costs, and so on as needed ( e.g. patrons, donors, crowdfunding). Join
About Us | Data For Democracy
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:19
One of my favorite projects to work on is the Global Data Ethics Project (GDEP) because I learn so much, every single day, while engaging with the awesome community of humans that are helping to build and support GDEP. The Global Data Ethics Project helps to frame the principles and inform the questions that need to be asked when we leverage people's data to build, map, collect, visualize anything
The best thing about D4D is the community.
Data for Democracy is the most welcoming, helpful and safe virtual space I have ever participated in. The org does such an outstanding job fostering positive community collaboration that I often find myself asking "What would D4D do?" in collaborative situations, and I'm thankful for every single one of you for the effort put forth in all of the posts, and for the care taken every day in all of the interactions that contribute to the awesomeness that is D4D.Find Margeaux @cheapwebmonkey
The Radical Right and the Threat of Violence '' Jonathon Morgan '' Medium
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:45
Twitter profile photos from extremist alt-right accountsEarlier this week I shared a story on Twitter about anti-Semitism in Donald Trump's campaign. The tweet was picked up by a prominent ''alt-right'' personality, and within a few minutes dozens of other white supremacists rallied to attack me, defend their candidate, and outline their vision for a society free of ''Jewish control.''
While this little eruption might have been noteworthy nine months ago, swarms of unapologetic racists are now commonplace on social media. Formerly relegated to the fringes of society, the alt-right is now part of the political mainstream. This modern incarnation of the white nationalist movement, made up of neo-Nazis and white separatists, enjoyed the national spotlight recently as Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of openly campaigning for their support. Many in the media have rightly expressed concern that a major party candidate seems to pander (or at least ''dog whistle'') to the far right fringe. Indeed, Trump has many ties to white supremacists on social media, and prominent white nationalists like former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke are strongly supportive of the Trump campaign. But the truth is that, while the influence of this type of bigotry on our political process is alarming, the real threat posed by the alt-right goes far beyond any candidate's unsavory political base.
The growing size and increasing radicalization of the white nationalist movement are indicators of a much more dangerous trend. With its vulnerable population, extremist ideology, and capacity for violence, the alt-right is a breeding ground for terrorism.
Terrorism, and the Path to RadicalizationSince the rise of ISIS, researchers, law enforcement, and the intelligence community have tried to understand how the group succeeds in inspiring people around the world to commit so-called ''lone wolf'' attacks, or travel to Syria to join their makeshift caliphate. This process, in which seemingly normal people become intoxicated with extremist ideology and are molded into terrorists, is often referred to as the ''path to radicalization,'' and it's now well understood.
Many have followed this path, from different countries, and social classes, but they're linked by common vulnerabilities''--'each feel ostracized from society, believe themselves to be victimized, and are attracted to violence. ISIS recruiters and propagandists exploit these vulnerabilities with narratives of strength and warmth, simultaneously empathizing with the alienated and disaffected while also promising power and belonging through righteous violence against their oppressors. ISIS sells potential recruits on the idea that they can fight injustice and find honor by taking back what is rightfully theirs.
An ISIS recruiting video. Warning: contains graphic footage.Though the similarities are not immediately obvious, for decades in the United States, white, working class communities have also become vulnerable to radical ideology. Described eloquently by author J.D. Vance in his lauded new book, Hillbilly Elegy, these communities in the South and rural Northeast are at the center of a growing social and cultural crisis. They've been rocked by a dramatic uptick in divorce, rampant drug overdoses, rising rural death rates, and a suicide epidemic. All this against a backdrop of increasing political irrelevance due to rural population decline and outright contempt from the wealthy.
According to researchers, these are also the communities with the highest levels of racism in the United States, and also overwhelmingly support Donald Trump for president.
This is not to say that all Donald Trump supporters are racist, or that all rural white voters are extremists''--'in fact that is almost certainly not the case. However it's not hard to see why these communities feel ostracized, disempowered, and angry.
Fortunately current white nationalist leaders like David Duke and William Johnson are ineffective, and have largely failed to inspire the kind of unity and commitment that propels ISIS supporters to large-scale terrorist attacks, but communities infected by the alt-right are fertile ground in which extremism can, and has taken root.
And while racism is not the same thing as radical extremism, former radical Islamists have drawn direct ties between the ISIS brand of religious extremism and racism, and there are clear parallels between the radicalization process of jihadist extremists and the growing extremism of the far right in the United States. Put bluntly in this VICE documentary about the Klu Klux Klan in Mississippi, Steve Howard, the local KKK chapter's Imperial Wizard, says:
''In some ways we can relate to Islamic extremists, just like we are Christian extremists, because they're fighting a holy war and so are we.''Growing Evidence on Social MediaLike ISIS, the alt-right is active on social media. In a recent research paper measuring alt-right on Twitter, J.M. Berger found a 600% increase in followers for prominent white nationalist accounts, even as ISIS activity has dramatically declined.
There are many factions within the alt-right, but in examining these white nationalists on social media, it's clear there are two primary groups: garden variety racists, who complain about mixed-race couples, are proud of their Scots-Irish heritage, and use hashtags like ''#WhiteWomenAreMagic,'' and violent extremists, who call for genocide against Jews, the killing of Muslims and African-Americans, and even threaten to lynch President Obama.
These are not idle threats, nor is this a small fringe group, as many in the media on both the left and right would understandably like to believe.
Individuals ideologically aligned with extremist white nationalists are responsible for repeated incidents of online and offline violence''--'from the high-profile hacking of comedian Leslie Jones' website, to the murder of a Lebanese man in Tulsa, OK, to the stabbing of a mix-raced couple in Olympia, WA to, most horrifically, the mass shooting at a Charleston, SC church by white supremacist Dylann Roof. In fact, until the nightclub shootings in Orlando, white extremists had committed more attacks and killed more Americans than jihadist extremists since 9/11.
Instead of chasing these extremists and their sympathizers back into the shadows, the recent increase in attention has only emboldened the alt-right. Jared Taylor, the editor of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance, openly cheered Hillary Clinton's attacks on the group. David Duke mentioned Donald Trump as his inspiration for seeking a Senate seat in Louisiana, while Duke's former organization, the KKK, is openly recruiting in Indiana, New York, and California. Meanwhile in Houston, an armed group of confederate-flag waiving white nationalists blockaded offices of the local NAACP chapter.
Measuring the Alt-Right's RadicalizationDisturbingly, the social media activity of these hate groups suggests that the threat of violence is increasing. White nationalists' online presence continues to grow, and after surveying a network of over 27,000 Nazi apologists, KKK members, and separatists, it's clear that these groups are becoming measurably more radicalized every month.
Even though they typically hide their real identities behind the anonymity afforded by social media, alt-right Twitter users nevertheless clearly communicate their political affiliations. Using machine-learning algorithms to interpret the language in Twitter profile descriptions, and computer vision algorithms to identify pro-Nazi symbols in profile avatars, my colleagues at New Knowledge and I identified over 3,500 radical extremists amongst the larger network of 27,000 accounts that are associated with the alt-right.
Many hundreds of users display the swastika, while others choose alternative symbols associated with hate groups, such as the Celtic cross, Iron cross, and insignia of the Nazi paramilitary group, Schutzstaffel, also known as the SS.
Swastikas dedicated by our computer vision algorithm, discovered in the alt-right network on TwitterMany others explicitly declared their allegiance to neo-Nazi and white separatist movements in the text of their profiles by proclaiming ''white pride,'' or explicitly identifying themselves as ''white nationalists.'' Almost everyone in the alt-right network is an enthusiastic and vocal supporter of Donald Trump, through the core group of extremists is more likely to mention their race, white nationalism, and national socialism than any presidential candidate.
On the left, words found most often in the larger network of alt-right Twitter profiles. On the right, words found most often in white extremist profiles.Most importantly, analyzing the tweets of this core group of 3,500 extremists reveals a warped, dangerous worldview that openly advocates for murder and genocide.
Using recent advances in machine-assisted text analysis, we then quantified this racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and violent perspective based on the context in which authors use relevant keywords. For example, in typical English, like a mainstream newspaper article, the word ''Jewish'' is statistically similar to words like ''Muslim'' and ''Christian.'' Meaning that mainstream authors usually rely on the word ''Jewish'' to describe someone or something religious.
On the contrary, in tweets by white extremists, the word ''Jewish'' is used in a totally different context, where it is statistically similar to words like ''communist,'' ''homosexual,'' ''anti-white,'' and ''satanic.''
White extremists are therefore more likely to use the word ''Jewish'' to signify something they hate, rather than as a religious description. This is no surprise, but it provides an objective metric for understanding how the white extremist perspective diverges from the mainstream.
Imagine two poles at either end of a spectrum that spans from the moderate middle to the potentially violent, radicalized fringe''--'this metric places a community somewhere on that spectrum. It's a kind of radicalization score, and those who score highly are ideologically similar to the most violent, dangerous alt-right extremists on Twitter.
When the radicalization score is applied to tweets from the broader alt-right network, it's clear that the entire white nationalist community is embracing an increasingly extreme ideology. The social media content of white nationalists in July was 25% more radicalized than it was in January, and the rate of radicalization is increasing exponentially.
The increasingly radicalized rhetoric of the alt-right on Twitter, measured.Of course the alt-right is not a single group, but is comprised of many communities, joined by their shared belief in white supremacy. As this graphic shows, small factions are scattered across the larger white nationalist network.
27,000 Alt-Right supporters on TwitterSome communities, like the ''#BlueHand'' movement, relentlessly and aggressively promote Islamaphobia, whereas other communities rail against diversity, which they describe as ''#WhiteGenocide.'' Still other communities align themselves with neo-Nazis and engage in Holocaust denial''--'largely focused on a recent pro-Hitler documentary called The Greatest Story Never Told''--'while some instead choose the white supremacist groups with roots in the United States like the Klu Klux Klan. There is plenty of overlap between these communities, and almost everyone in the alt-right revels in bizarre conspiracy theories, such as the idea that President Obama founded ISIS''--'a theory recently made popular by Donald Trump''--'or that Black Lives Matter activists are terrorists.
Regardless of what type of white nationalism the individual communities prefer, almost all of them show signs of adopting the kinds of dangerous, radical ideologies.
Looking more closely at one of these communities in particular, it's possible to see the journey from casual racism to a more extremist typically associated with violence.
An Alt-Right community on the path to radicalizationThis community of 5,225 users is tightly clustered inside the larger network, indicating a high degree of communication between its members. The tweets published by members of this community indicate a perspective that is 63% radicalized, and that has become increasingly radicalized over time.
Community radicalization over timeA closer look at the individual tweets published by members of this group in January, and then in July, illustrates this trend. In January, the word ''Jewish'' hardly appears. When it does, the context reveals an undercurrent of casual, but not aggressive, racism.
By July, the tone has changed. The word ''Jewish'' appears in tweets from hundreds of different accounts, and its usage implies a belief in large-scale conspiracy, racial antagonism, and even explicit support for Adolf Hitler.
Now, in September, the march toward radicalization shows no signs of stopping, as campaign rhetoric intensifies during the last leg of a polarizing presidential election.
Dark Times AheadThe extremist alt-right is a barrel of gunpowder, waiting for someone to light a match.
It's also not going anywhere. The radical alt-right has so far failed to engender the kind of devotion seen in supporters of other extremist groups, but Donald Trump and his campaign have normalized the hate and conspiracy theories that fuel this movement. His rhetoric has emboldened the alt-right, and this election cycle has dramatically elevated its visibility. The economic and social conditions that led to the decline of rural white communities aren't changing anytime soon, and as the number of alt-right converts grows at an alarming rate, these groups seem increasingly inclined to violent rhetoric and radicalized ideology.
It's only a matter of time before more charismatic and ruthless leaders replace uninspiring figures like David Duke and Jared Taylor, harness this increased capacity for violence, and elevate the radicalized alt-right from a marginalized hate group to full-blown terrorism.
A Trump supporter responding to his candidate's speculation that the election might be ''rigged.''
Militia Groups and the ''Rigged Election'' '' Jonathon Morgan '' Medium
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:41
Using Facebook activity to find armed militia supporters who are engaging with Donald Trump's claims of a rigged election.Faced with probable defeat, Donald Trump is now claiming the election is rigged (it's not). While election officials spent Monday trying to reassure the public that US democracy is intact, Trump surrogates doubled down on their candidate's accusations, warning of widespread voter fraud, and suggesting that supporters revolt.
The message is resonating. Over 100,000 people commented or reacted to Trump's recent Facebook posts about election rigging. Though at rallies some of Trump's supporters insist the tough talk is not a call to violence, others discussed armed rebellion and assassination, and buried amongst the supporters who engaged with the candidate's message on Facebook are at least 210 people who are involved with armed militia groups.
Arkansas, Arizona, Mississippi, and California have the most active militia supporters who have also interacted with Donald Trump's Facebook posts about rigged elections.Though not always violent, armed, anti-government militias are common in the United States. The Southern Poverty Law Center counts 276 such militia groups. Last year an armed militant group seized a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, and just last week ''The Crusaders,'' a group of three men in Kansas, were arrested for plotting a terrorist attack on a mosque and apartment complex used primarily by Somali refugees. The Crusaders' attack, planned for the day after the presidential election, was intended to cause a ''bloodbath'' that they hoped would start a religious war.
The Facebook pages of the men behind The Crusaders'-- Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright, and Patrick Stein''--'turn up connections to other militias in Kansas and across the country. A closer look at militia activity across Facebook reveals that, while many restrict their activity to closed, private communities, over 240 militia groups keep active, public Facebook pages*.
It's on these public pages that supporters who have commented or reacted to Trump's Facebook posts about rigged elections discuss how they view the upcoming election, the US government, and rebellion.
Comment from a Trump supporter on a militia group's Facebook pageComment from a Trump supporter on a militia group's Facebook pageComment from a Trump supporter on a militia group's Facebook pageOver 32,000 different Facebook users have commented or reacted to a post on one of the 246 public pages maintained by militia groups, with most of the that activity occurring in the past few months.
The number of militia Facebook page comments per month, captured from 246 pages that are publicly accessible and have been active in the last year.When Donald Trump tells people the election is rigged, they believe him. Some of those people already believe it's their duty to take up arms against a tyrannical government. But it's almost impossible to rig an election. Claiming otherwise is irresponsible and dangerous.
*The search for militia Facebook pages was limited to public pages created for armed, non-professional fighting units. I removed pages that were setup in protest, hadn't posted at least once in 2016, are dedicated to historical societies or reenactment groups, or were setup as a joke, like the many ''anti-zombie'' militia pages.
How the 'Alt-Right' Came to Dominate the Comments on Trump's Facebook Page - The Atlantic
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:39
The alt-right is a radicalized subculture. While it most likely does not represent the values of most Trump supporters, let alone most Americans, this relatively small, hyperactive extremist group has effectively exploited the social mechanics of platforms like Facebook and Twitter to amplify its message, influence voters, and normalize its radical ideology. Over the course of the campaign the alt-right succeeded in spreading divisive rhetoric--and the comments section of Trump's official Facebook page increasingly resembled the hateful views it promoted.
We can measure the degree to which the alt-right's radical ideology has been normalized amongst Trump supporters on Facebook by taking language from their comments and comparing it to language of suspected white nationalists online.
For an earlier investigation into far-right radicalism on Twitter for The Washington Post, we used machine learning to identify 3,500 possible white nationalists based on the language in Twitter users' profile descriptions and pro-Nazi symbols in their avatars. We then dissected the racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, and often violent language used by these accounts. (Many have since been suspended by Twitter.)
Analyzing the context in which these accounts used keywords relevant to hate speech, and comparing that context to mainstream language found in a dataset of over 100 billion words published on Google News, makes it possible to identify distinctive patterns. Other bodies of text'--for example, the comments left on Trump's Facebook page'--can then be compared to these two benchmarks, to assess the extent to which they resemble one more than the other.
For example, in most newspaper articles, the word ''Jewish'' is used in a similar way to words like ''Muslim'' and ''Christian,'' to describe religion.
In tweets by white nationalists, the word ''Jewish'' is used in a similar way to words like ''communist,'' ''homosexual,'' and ''leftist.'' In other words, ''Jewish'' often appears in contexts similar to words for other groups of people white nationalists don't like.
The language used in the comments section of Trump's Facebook page initially resembled that used by newspapers. For example, here is a typical comment from early 2016. Its author uses the word ''Jewish'' to describe his religion.
''I love Pope Frances [sic]! He took on a very Holy Name and I love Him! But once again I am Jewish but the Pope is still Blessed!''
By October, that changed. Facebook commenters on Trump's page began to use words like ''Jew'' and ''Jewish'' to describe the mainstream media, Hillary Clinton, and other common punching bags for Trump's campaign. They used ''Jewish'' in the same way white nationalists use the word ''Jewish''''--'as an epithet.
For example, one commenter writes, ''The Rothschild Jewish owned main stream [sic] media will begin to die tonight when Trump only speaks with honest journalists online after the debate. Best way to end corrupted media, ignore them.''
Articles by Jonathon Morgan | The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN Journalist | Muck Rack
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:37
Dados comprovam: Rºssia tamb(C)m interferiu nas elei§µes intermedirias norte-americanas gazetadopovo.com.br '-- Desde as elei§µes presidenciais norte-americanas de 2016, influenciada por agentes russos atrav(C)s de uma campanha de desinforma§£o nas redes sociais, plataformas como Twitter e Facebook adotaram algumas medidas para solucionar o problema. Milhares de perfis falsos, com um sem-fim de seguidores, tiveram suas pginas desativadas no Facebook, por exemplo, e n£o puderam ser restabelecidas facilmente.
Opinion | Russians Meddling in the Midterms? Here's the Data nytimes.com '-- Since the 2016 United States presidential election, which Russian operatives influenced through a coordinated campaign of disinformation on social media, platforms like Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to address the problem. Thousands of ''sock puppet'' personas with hundreds of thousands of followers have been taken down on Facebook, for example, and cannot easily be rebuilt. Twitter has reduced the risk that propaganda is spread through automated accounts, or bots.
Trump's Militia Pardon is Another Blow to Federal Law Enforcement justsecurity.org '-- News that President Donald Trump has pardoned two cattle ranchers who committed arson on public lands should alarm anyone who is committed to our legal institutions, particularly federal law enforcement. On Tuesday, Trump pardoned Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven Hammond, who were convicted for arson on public lands in 2012. Following their convictions, they were sentenced to three months and 12 months in prison, despite facing statutory mandatory-minimum sentences of five years.
Information Operations are a Cybersecurity Problem: Toward a New Strategic Paradigm to Combat Disinformation justsecurity.org '-- Disinformation, misinformation, and social media hoaxes have evolved from a nuisance into high-stakes information war. State actors with geopolitical motivations, ideological true believers, non-state violent extremists, and economically-motivated enterprises are able to manipulate narratives on social media with ease, and it's happening each and every day.
Exigent Circumstances: iOS 12's USB Restricted Mode and Warrantless iPhone Access justsecurity.org '-- Apple recently confirmed the introduction of a new feature called ''USB Restricted Mode'' in the latest version of the iPhone's mobile operating system, iOS 12. If enabled in the user's settings, USB Restricted Mode will disable data transfer from the iPhone over the Lightning cable once the phone has been locked for an hour unless the phone's password is entered.
The Facebook hearings remind us: information warfare is here to stay | Renee Diresta and theguardian.com '-- Mark Zuckerberg's congressional hearings this week feels like the culmination of months of scandals, but this is the beginning, not the end. In the wake of revelations about abuse of their platforms, and under threat of regulation not just in Europe but also in the US, Facebook and the other social media companies are scrambling to fix vulnerabilities in their policies and products.
The Bots That Are Changing Politics motherboard.vice.com '-- Editor's note: This essay is drawn from discussions and writings around a June 2017 convening organized and led by Samuel Woolley, Research Director of the new DigIntel Lab at the Institute for the Future, alongside fellow bot experts* Renee DiResta, John Little, Jonathon Morgan, Lisa Maria Neudert, and Ben Nimmo. The symposium was held at Jigsaw, the Google / Alphabet think-tank and technology incubator.
Crafting projects, Islam, and Russian propaganda '' Data for Democracy '' Medium medium.com '-- We spent last Friday night combing through Jonathan Albright's dataset of posts from five Russian-linked Facebook pages, trying to track down related Instagram accounts. Most of the accounts associated with those Facebook pages have been removed, but through that research we uncovered several Pinterest pages that we now believe were tied directly to Russia's 2016 influence operations.
Facebook and Google need to own their role in spreading misinformation -- and fix it cnn.com '-- Jonathon Morgan is the CEO of New Knowledge , a cognitive security startup, and founder of Data for Democracy , a global volunteer tech collective. Previously he advised the White House and State Department during the Obama administration about combating terrorist propaganda online. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. (CNN) Every day we learn more about the scale and effectiveness of Russian influence operations during the 2016 US election.
OPINI'N: Facebook y Google tienen que aceptar que promueven la desinformaci"n expansion.mx '-- Hubo una (C)poca en la que esta clase de difusi"n democrtica de ideas era la gran promesa de internet, un sitio en el que la informaci"n flua libremente, sin las restricciones tradicionales de los gobiernos o las empresas de medios. Sin embargo, internet no es una democracia. La informaci"n est bajo control de un grupo de empresas de medios que no quiere ayudar a que sus usuarios compartan informaci"n, sino que quieren lucrar con su atenci"n.
Interview: Simon Rogers, Data Editor at Google partiallyderivative.com '-- We interviewed Simon Rogers about data journalism, ethics, and the future of interactive, immersive storytelling. Simon is currently the Data Editor for Google, was the creator of the Guardian'¬'s Datablog, and authored Facts Are Sacred.
S1E33: Data of the Impossible partiallyderivative.com '-- The data of colliding atoms, baby universes and the foundation of our existence. We talk with internationally renowned researchers Dr. Kyle Cranmer, one of experimental particle physicists responsible for discovering the elusive Higgs Boson, and Dr. Lee Smolin, one of the theoretical physicists behind Loop quantum gravity, and author of The Trouble With Physics, and Time Reborn. This episode doesn't get too technical (we're not physicists after all), but it'll still blow your freakin' mind.
The P-Value Civil War partiallyderivative.com '-- This week Chris and Vidya discuss the p-value civil war in science. What a nerdy debate about p-values shows about science '-- and how to fix it
Learning Everything Else partiallyderivative.com '-- This week Chris talks about learning everything they don't teach you in grad school, bootcamps, or MOOCs. Make a Difference We started a community for data people who want to find impactful projects and meet collaborators. Check out Data for Democracy, and come hang out with us! Sponsors! We'd also of course like to thank this week's sponsors, Veera and Periscope Data. Veera is a data synthesis platform that makes working with data easier and more fun. Check out Veera, and go be a data superhero!
Breitbart under Bannon: Breitbart's comment section reflects alt-right, anti-Semitic language salon.com '-- This article was originally published by The Southern Poverty Law Center. As President Trump is pressured to substantively respond to the rise in anti-Semitic incidents since his election, a new analysis reveals that Breitbart News under Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon fostered a comment section - a sample of Breitbart's readership - that increasingly reflected language specific to the white nationalist "alt-right" movement, including anti-Semitic sentiment.
How the 'Alt-Right' Came to Dominate the Comments on Trump's Facebook Page theatlantic.com '-- Over the course of the campaign, the comments left on the president's official Facebook page increasingly employed the rhetoric of white nationalism. The alt-right is a radicalized subculture.
Origin Story '' Data for Democracy medium.com '-- The question I'm asked most often by data scientists is: "How can I help?" Now, more than ever, this is the attitude we need. Data people have a lot to offer. We're driven by a passion to find the truth. We understand how information can be used to make better decisions and improve our communities.
How Breitbart Under Bannon Fueled Anti-Semitism alternet.org '-- Not idle threats, but language used by those who advocate for violence against minorities and are openly pro-Nazi. As President Trump is pressured to substantively respond to the rise in anti-Semitic incidents since his election, a new analysis reveals that Breitbart News under Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon fostered a comment section - a sample of Breitbart's readership - that increasingly reflected language specific to the white nationalist "alt-right" movement, including anti-Semitic sentiment.
White Nationalist Robocall from the Future medium.com '-- This week I got another robocall from a white nationalist group, this time claiming to be from the year 2029. Seriously. It describes a world where Hillary Clinton's actions have led to mass starvation and a world government run by the Jews.
Militia Groups and the ''Rigged Election'' medium.com '-- Faced with probable defeat, Donald Trump is now claiming the election is rigged ( it's not). While election officials spent Monday trying to reassure the public that US democracy is intact, Trump surrogates doubled down on their candidate's accusations, warning of widespread voter fraud, and suggesting that supporters revolt.
These charts show exactly how racist and radical the alt-right has gotten this year washingtonpost.com '-- Regardless of who triumphs at the ballot box, the biggest winner of this presidential election may be the alt-right: a sprawling coalition of reactionary conservatives who have lobbied to make the United States more "traditional," more "populist" and more white.
The Radical Right and the Threat of Violence '' Jonathon Morgan '' Medium medium.com '-- Earlier this week I shared a story on Twitter about anti-Semitism in Donald Trump's campaign. The tweet was picked up by a prominent "alt-right" personality, and within a few minutes dozens of other white supremacists rallied to attack me, defend their candidate, and outline their vision for a society free of "Jewish control."
Digging into the Bush Emails goodattheinternet.com '-- Write an awesome description for your new site here. You can edit this line in _config.yml. It will appear in your document head meta (for Google search results) and in your feed.xml site description.
Democracy Hacked '' Data for Democracy '' Medium
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:23
A Massive, Pro-Le Pen Disinformation Campaign Hits Twitter, 4chan, and the Mainstream MediaBy Kris Shaffer, CE Carey, and Ben Starling.
Twitter users have started to notice something strange in the lead up to this Sunday's presidential election in France. Hashtags like #SortonsMacron (Get Macron out), #RejoignezMarine (Join Marine [Le Pen]), #Macrongate, and #Bayrougate have at various times begun to trend on Twitter. The Digital Forensics Research Lab has reported that so far, these hashtag trends have remained relegated to relatively isolated groups of Twitter accounts ' including actual individuals, sockpuppets, and bots. However, over the past few days, we have been monitoring activity on a variety of platforms and are finding that the disinformation efforts are ramping up on Twitter and 4chan in particular, and starting to enter the mainstream media, as well as Wednesday evening's presidential debate. This is a significant, coordinated, online effort to sway the election in favor of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, just like we observed in the US presidential election and the Brexit vote in the UK.
TwitterOver the past 24 hours, we have streamed and analyzed over 1 million tweets relating to the French election. (Search terms include multiple spellings of both Le Pen's and Macron's surnames, and the hashtags #LeDebat2017, #2017LeDebat, and #Presidentielle2017.) Here's what we found. (Though please note that out of respect for individuals' privacy, we will not be publishing personally identifiable information of any specific Twitter users.)
Who's tweeting?In our million-tweet database, we found a number of highly prolific accounts. 5% of users accounted for a full 40% of the tweets. The most prolific account tweeted 1668 times in the roughly 24 hours of data ' that's faster than a single (re)tweet per minute, all day with no sleep. While that's humanly possible for a highly motivated tweeter, we manually watched this and several other high-volume accounts during the day yesterday, and for several of these accounts, the tweets were coming through in bursts too fast for an individual to keep up with them, suggesting automation rather than a highly active human. These accounts also feature other traits consistent with automated bots: overly patriotic banner images, profile pictures stolen from elsewhere on the web, a recent join date combined with a high volume of tweets, etc. It's clear, then, that a significant amount of content ' particularly among the highest-volume accounts ' is coming from bots.
Few of these high-volume accounts are tweeting original content, however. Almost all of them are either retweeting content from ''catalyst'' accounts, replying to tweets of others with a single, repeated message (usually a meme or a picture with text), or quoting tweets of others and appending a single, repeated message to each.
What are they tweeting?Perhaps surprisingly after the US presidential election and the Brexit vote (in which the bots were heavily in favor of the right-wing options), we encountered both pro-Le Pen and pro-Macron bots. We also encountered a get-out-the-vote bot that seemed to favor neither candidate.
However, in spite of there being bots on both sides, we also found evidence of a significant disinformation campaign aimed at the discrediting of Macron and encouraging votes for Le Pen. In the following graphic, we can see the bigrams (two-word phrases, after common words like a, an, the; la, le, les; etc. have been removed) that are most distinctive of tweets that mention on candidate or the other.
Most characteristic bigrams in over one million tweets from May 4''5.There are several findings to note in this analysis. First, there is significant English-language content in tweets about this election. The election is international news, but this is a new phenomenon. Over the first few hours of tweets, the most distinctive phrases in tweets about Le Pen contained significant English and Spanish, but Macron's most distinctive phrases were almost exclusively in French (see graphic below). The increase in English is a new occurrence.
Most characteristic bigrams from over 400,000 tweets from May 4.It's also worth noting that the tweets are generally dominated by French-language content. By our rough estimates, about 80% of the tweets are written in French, just 20% in English. That the most distinctive content for each candidate tends to be more commonly in English is suggestive. Without further, more detailed analysis, it's hard to say for sure, but it's possible that English-language tweeters are at least trying to drive the narrative for each candidate, or introduce new narratives. Whether or not they will be successful is another matter, but after Trump/Clinton and Brexit, we don't take anything for granted anymore, and recommend taking every even potential attempt at disinformation or narrative control seriously.
There has also been a significant shift in the content dominating these tweets. Last night, tweets about Macron focused on Barack Obama's endorsement of his candidacy, while tweets about Le Pen seemed dominated by her being struck with an egg at a campaign event. This morning (US East Coast time), however, tweets about Macron have shifted significantly, now focusing on his supposed corruption, including tax evasion via an account in the Cayman Islands.
This corruption charge, dubbed #Macrongate by some, is a deliberate disinformation campaign, one that has spread through multiple social media channels, amplified by bots and ''influencers'', even making it onto the debate stage, and now the French courts. Just today it was compounded by an alleged dump of emails from the Macron campaign, reported in international mainstream media ' too big for the media to ignore, but too late for anyone to examine closely for content or authenticity, and minutes before the campaign blackout began, after which point candidates are not permitted to respond until the polls open.
#MacrongateWhen we saw 4chan and pol (the ''politically incorrect'' board on 4chan) pop up in the list of most distinctive phrases in tweets mentioning Le Pen, it grabbed our attention. We'd already seen references to Le Pen rising from relative obscurity on 4chan in April to the top 10 bigrams over the past few days. 4chan played an instrumental role in Trump's election, as they produced and audience-tested many anti-Clinton memes and fed the ones with the best responses into the The_Donald subreddit, which at the time was being monitored by the Trump campaign for material to recirculate in more mainstream social media channels.
We looked specifically at the 2000+ tweets in our archive mentioning 4chan. While it's a drop in the bucket on Twitter, these tweets turned out to be the key to a big controversy. According to BuzzFeed writer, Ryan Broderick, 4chan users have been propagating a (now debunked) claim that Macron is using an offshore bank account in the Cayman Islands to evade French taxes. Following up on this story, Broderick also found evidence that Reddit users were purposefully repeating identical phrases about this conspiracy theory in order to ''Google bomb'' ' to feed false, verbatim content into sites Google mines to feed their search engine algorithm, in the hopes that they can influence the phrases that Google uses to autocomplete searches beginning with ''Macron''.
Though 4chan is full of confusion over the authenticity of the claim, or whether its authenticity is even relevant, the story propagated there and on Reddit has made its way around other social media channels and has made its way into mainstream French media. Marine Le Pen referenced it in the debate, accusing Macron of using a tax haven. During the debate, #Bahamas was a trending hashtag on Twitter, as a result. The effect has been that Macron has had to answer for this claim in interviews, much like Barack Obama had to answer questions about his birth certificate and Hillary Clinton about her email server, and it detracts from Macron's ability to stay on message even if it is false. In a close election, even if the majority of voters believe the story to be false, the fact that it affects his campaign message may be enough to tip the scales towards his opponent.
Enter the botsAs the #Macrongate ''story'' entered public discourse in France, pro-Le-Pen Twitter bots have taken to amplifying it. For example, one disinformation post about this story, ''Are Emmanuel Macron's Tax Evasion Documents Real?'' (on GotNews, not linked from this post for ethical reasons) was the top non-Youtube URL shared on 4chan during the period under investigation. In our Twitter dataset, it was shared 1186 times by 1066 unique accounts. Upon manual inspection, the top sharers of this article demonstrate multiple bot-like traits (see above). What's more telling is 306 of the 1066 accounts which tweeted/retweeted the GotNews article are in the top 1% of accounts when ranked by tweet volume. In other words, the most active bots are disproportionately sharing links to disinformation. While the more generic ''Get Macron out'' and ''Join Marine'' campaigns analyzed by DFRLab ultimately proved unsuccessful, it seems the tax evasion disinformation campaign has gained traction, and right-wing bot-nets are seeking to capitalize on it, keeping the false story in public discourse as much as possible leading into Sunday's election.
Narrative controlIt's becoming clear that the goal here is not the truth, nor even believability. (Remember #pizzagate?) The goal of these disinformation networks is to control the narrative. Keep the ball on the other end of the field and take lots of shots, even bad ones. Control the ball, keep your opponent on the defensive, and they can't work their own offense. And who knows, they might slip up and let the game winning shot through. That's the playbook of these disinformation networks.
So what do we do? Demand the truth. Ignore the latest unconfirmed email dump from WikiLeaks. Learn what a bot looks like. Check any unsubstantiated claim with multiple reliable sources. Better yet, treat those unsubstantiated claims with scorn to begin with. And go on the offensive. Push the truth. Repeat it over and over. Share it as aggressively as the bots spread their disinformation. Demand high standards from journalists, and when they fail to meet them, find something else to read. And demand that the platforms who enable the spread of disinformation and hate online be held accountable.
The web is ours. Democracy is ours. It's time we took them both back.
Header image by Pedro K¼mmel.
Jonathon Morgan's datasets | page 1 | data.world
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The Facebook hearings remind us: information warfare is here to stay | Renee Diresta and Jonathon Morgan | Opinion | The Guardian
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 23:11
M ark Zuckerberg's congressional hearings this week feels like the culmination of months of scandals, but this is the beginning, not the end. In the wake of revelations about abuse of their platforms, and under threat of regulation not just in Europe but also in the US, Facebook and the other social media companies are scrambling to fix vulnerabilities in their policies and products.
Facebook, as Zuckerberg stated during the hearing, is making changes to the data that can be obtained via the API, the digital interfaces through which third parties can interact with and extract data from the platform: verifying the IDs of people buying issue ads and verifying the owners of pages with large audiences. Despite these changes, there is nothing that any one platform can do on their own that will solve disinformation, online radicalization, conspiracy theories or fake news. Information warfare is our new reality.
You'll never fully solve security. It's an arms race
''You never fully solve security. It's an arms race,'' Zuckerberg said in a phone call with press last week, and reiterated again in today's hearings. ''I'm confident that we're making progress against these adversaries, but they're very sophisticated.''
Security is indeed an arms race, and one that the social media companies appear to be losing. The investigation stemming from Russian manipulation in the election of 2016 was not the first time that Facebook and the other social media platforms have missed important signals or been forced to quickly make reactive changes in response to public outrage.
Again and again, these platforms have been used to manipulate public discourse '' from Isis blanketing the internet with terrorist propaganda to groups of online gamers harassing journalists. The largely laissez-faire system is ill-equipped to manage manipulative behaviors at any kind of systemic level. The mainstream public pays attention to coverage of the latest bad actor for a bit, but the news cycle quickly moves on. Although coverage of specific skirmishes waxes and wanes, the broader war is our new reality '' because the way we share information has fundamentally changed.
When Facebook was founded in 2004, only 63% of Americans regularly used the internet, and those that did reported that the internet helped them access a broader variety of political views. Now, in 2018, nearly 90% of Americans use the internet and the majority of Americans get their news from social media. Today, personalized news feeds, curated by algorithms, produce information ''filter bubbles'' that amplify users' existing political bias instead of introducing them to multiple points of view. A generation of young people in high school and college has replaced socializing face to face with screen time. Digital media are becoming more central to how we communicate and understand the world, even as we're recognizing the systemic flaws in our information ecosystem.
Zuckerberg faces Congress: the biggest highlights from day two '' videoIn his testimony, Zuckerberg told Congress that the company is making changes to address ''fake news, foreign interference in elections and hate speech''. While it is encouraging that Facebook has finally accepted the serious threats facing the platform, the problems with our information ecosystem go beyond politics and policy.
A House committee report detailed how Russian propagandists tried to undermine confidence in the US energy industry. Three UK economists recently revealed how social media automation can depress stock prices, and groups of online trolls are even manipulating movie reviews. And, as Zuckerberg himself pointed out, even as Facebook takes steps to defend itself against these types of attacks, ''there are people in Russia whose job it is to try to exploit our systems and other internet systems '... they're going to keep on getting better at this, and we need to invest in getting better at this, too.''
Facebook's CEO was under the bright lights on Tuesday, but prior hearings have rightly involved Twitter and Google as well. As every aspect of our existence moves online, we cede more of our day to day lives to an environment that's dominated by a small number of very large, powerful companies that are largely unregulated and unpoliced. Disinformation migrates from one to the next.
As Senator John Kennedy put it during Tuesday's hearing: ''Our promised digital utopia, we have discovered, has minefields.'' We'll need to invent new systems for defending ourselves, new partnerships between media companies, government and researchers, and new approaches to educating ourselves about how information moves from one account to another online. This is an enormous, complex problem that took decades to create, and it will take decades to solve. It's only the beginning.
Renee DiResta is the Head of Policy for Data for Democracy, and a Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation and Trust. Jonathon Morgan is the CEO of New Knowledge, a technology company that defends brands against disinformation, and the founder of Data for Democracy
BOMBSHELL: Democrats Used 'Similarly Deceptive Tactics' In Alabama Senate Race As Russians Used In 2016 Election, NYT Reports | Daily Wire
Thu, 20 Dec 2018 12:30
A new bombshell report released on Wednesday night alleges that Democrats used "similarly deceptive tactics" in the Alabama Senate race last year as Russia used in the 2016 elections.
"The secret project, carried out on Facebook and Twitter, was likely too small to have a significant effect on the race, in which the Democratic candidate it was designed to help, Doug Jones, edged out the Republican, Roy S. Moore," The New York Times reported.
The Times notes that the methods implored by Democrats concern some who fear that they "taint elections in the United States."
"The project's operators created a Facebook page on which they posed as conservative Alabamians, using it to try to divide Republicans and even to endorse a write-in candidate to draw votes from Mr. Moore," The Times continued. "It involved a scheme to link the Moore campaign to thousands of Russian accounts that suddenly began following the Republican candidate on Twitter, a development that drew national media attention."
The New York Times obtained an internal report on the Democrat's operation, which stated it "experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections."
"We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet," the report added.
The Times report states that the operation had a "budget of just $100,000, in a race that cost approximately $51 million," as the publication tried to downplay the impact of the operation.
However, mainstream media outlets, including The Times, have repeatedly hyped Russia's efforts in the 2016 elections to use social media to create division.
How much money did Russia's troll farm spend on Facebook ads? $100,000.
The notion that Democrats' deception operation was designed to have "almost no impact" no the race is nearly impossible to prove, especially considering the fact that "when Election Day came, Mr. Jones became the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter of a century, defeating Mr. Moore by 21,924 votes in a race that drew more than 22,800 write-in votes. More than 1.3 million ballots were cast overall."
The Times notes that the Democrats' operation "got started as Democrats were coming to grips with the Russians' weaponizing of social media" to create division between Americans during the 2016 elections.
"I know there were people who believed the Democrats needed to fight fire with fire," said Ren(C)e DiResta, a computational propaganda researcher. "It was absolutely chatter going around the party."
Democrats also sought to keep the identities of those who were funding Jones' campaign a secret. Last year, The Daily Wire reported:
The mystery super PAC that has poured more than $4 million into Alabama's special Senate election on Tuesday is controlled by two of the Democrat's largest super PACs '-- both of which are funded by Democratic megadonor George Soros.
While Jones tries to appear detached from Washington special interests, a Politico report published late Monday revealed that mystery super PAC Highway 31 "is a joint project of two of the largest national Democratic super PACs '-- Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action."
This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.
Secret Experiment in Alabama Senate Race Imitated Russian Tactics - The New York Times
Thu, 20 Dec 2018 12:30
Image An Alabama resident waved to passing cars while holding a Doug Jones sign outside the candidates' headquarters last year. Credit Credit Maura Friedman for The New York Times As Russia's online election machinations came to light last year, a group of Democratic tech experts decided to try out similarly deceptive tactics in the fiercely contested Alabama Senate race, according to people familiar with the effort and a report on its results.
The secret project, carried out on Facebook and Twitter, was likely too small to have a significant effect on the race, in which the Democratic candidate it was designed to help, Doug Jones, edged out the Republican, Roy S. Moore. But it was a sign that American political operatives of both parties have paid close attention to the Russian methods, which some fear may come to taint elections in the United States.
One participant in the Alabama project, Jonathon Morgan, is the chief executive of New Knowledge, a small cyber security firm that wrote a scathing account of Russia's social media operations in the 2016 election that was released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
An internal report on the Alabama effort, obtained by The New York Times, says explicitly that it ''experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.''
The project's operators created a Facebook page on which they posed as conservative Alabamians, using it to try to divide Republicans and even to endorse a write-in candidate to draw votes from Mr. Moore. It involved a scheme to link the Moore campaign to thousands of Russian accounts that suddenly began following the Republican candidate on Twitter, a development that drew national media attention.
''We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet,'' the report says.
Mr. Morgan said in an interview that the Russian botnet ruse ''does not ring a bell,'' adding that others had worked on the effort and had written the report. He said he saw the project as ''a small experiment'' designed to explore how certain online tactics worked, not to affect the election.
Mr. Morgan said he could not account for the claims in the report that the project sought to ''enrage and energize Democrats'' and ''depress turnout'' among Republicans, partly by emphasizing accusations that Mr. Moore had pursued teenage girls when he was a prosecutor in his 30s.
''The research project was intended to help us understand how these kind of campaigns operated,'' said Mr. Morgan. ''We thought it was useful to work in the context of a real election but design it to have almost no impact.''
The project had a budget of just $100,000, in a race that cost approximately $51 million, including the primaries, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Image Workers hung a United States flag in preparation for a Roy Moore rally held in Midland City, Ala. Credit Carlo Allegri/Reuters But however modest, the influence effort in Alabama may be a sign of things to come. Campaign veterans in both parties fear the Russian example may set off a race to the bottom, in which candidates choose social media manipulation because they fear their opponents will.
''Some will do whatever it takes to win,'' said Dan Bayens, a Kentucky-based Republican consultant. ''You've got Russia, which showed folks how to do it, you've got consultants willing to engage in this type of behavior and political leaders who apparently find it futile to stop it.''
There is no evidence that Mr. Jones sanctioned or was even aware of the social media project. Joe Trippi, a seasoned Democratic operative who served as a top adviser to the Jones campaign, said he had noticed the Russian bot swarm suddenly following Mr. Moore on Twitter. But he said it was impossible that a $100,000 operation had an impact on the race.
Mr. Trippi said he was nonetheless disturbed by the stealth operation. ''I think the big danger is somebody in this cycle uses the dark arts of bots and social networks and it works,'' he said. ''Then we're in real trouble.''
Despite its small size, the Alabama project brought together some prominent names in the world of political technology. The funding came from Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn, who has sought to help Democrats catch up with Republicans in their use of online technology.
The money passed through American Engagement Technologies, run by Mikey Dickerson, the founding director of the United States Digital Service, which was created during the Obama administration to try to upgrade the federal government's use of technology. Sara K. Hudson, a former Justice Department fellow now with Investing in Us, a tech finance company partly funded by Mr. Hoffman, worked on the project, along with Mr. Morgan.
A close collaborator of Mr. Hoffman, Dmitri Mehlhorn, the founder of Investing in Us, said in a statement that ''our purpose in investing in politics and civic engagement is to strengthen American democracy'' and that while they do not ''micromanage'' the projects they fund, they are not aware of having financed projects that have used deception. Mr. Dickerson declined to comment and Ms. Hudson did not respond to queries.
The Alabama project got started as Democrats were coming to grips with the Russians' weaponizing of social media to undermine the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and promote Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Morgan reached out at the time to Ren(C)e DiResta, who would later join New Knowledge and was lead author of the report on Russian social media operations released this week.
''I know there were people who believed the Democrats needed to fight fire with fire,'' Ms. DiResta said, adding that she disagreed. ''It was absolutely chatter going around the party.''
But she said Mr. Morgan simply asked her for suggestions of online tactics worth testing. ''My understanding was that they were going to investigate to what extent they could grow audiences for Facebook pages using sensational news,'' she said.
Mr. Morgan confirmed that the project created a generic page to draw conservative Alabamians '-- he said he couldn't remember its name '-- and that Mac Watson, one of multiple write-in candidates, contacted the page. ''But we didn't do anything on his behalf,'' he said.
Image Reid Hoffman at the LinkedIn offices in Sunnyvale, Calif., in 2017. He financed the experiment in the Alabama Senate race. Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times The report, however, says the Facebook page agreed to ''boost'' Mr. Watson's campaign and stayed in regular touch with him, and was ''treated as an advisor and the go-to media contact for the write-in candidate.'' The report claims the page got him interviews with The Montgomery Advertiser and The Washington Post.
Mr. Watson, who runs a patio supply company in Auburn, Ala., confirmed that he got some assistance from a Facebook page whose operators seemed determined to stay in the shadows.
Of dozens of conservative Alabamian-oriented pages on Facebook that he wrote to, only one replied. ''You are in a particularly interesting position and from what we have read of your politics, we would be inclined to endorse you,'' the unnamed operator of the page wrote. After Mr. Watson answered a single question about abortion rights as a sort of test, the page offered an endorsement, though no money.
''They never spent one red dime as far as I know on anything I did '-- they just kind of told their 400 followers, 'Hey, vote for this guy,''' Mr. Watson said.
Mr. Watson never spoke with the page's author or authors by phone, and they declined a request for meeting. But he did notice something unusual: his Twitter followers suddenly ballooned from about 100 to about 10,000. The Facebook page's operators asked Mr. Watson whether he trusted anyone to set up a super PAC that could receive funding and offered advice on how to sharpen his appeal to disenchanted Republican voters.
Shortly before the election, the page sent him a message, wishing him luck.
The report does not say whether the project purchased the Russian bot Twitter accounts that suddenly began to follow Mr. Moore. But it takes credit for ''radicalizing Democrats with a Russian bot scandal'' and points to stories on the phenomenon in the mainstream media. ''Roy Moore flooded with fake Russian Twitter followers,'' reported The New York Post.
Inside the Moore campaign, officials began to worry about online interference.
''We did have suspicions that something odd was going on,'' said Rich Hobson, Mr. Moore's campaign manager. Mr. Hobson said that although he did not recall any hard evidence of interference, the campaign complained to Facebook about potential chicanery.
''Any and all of these things could make a difference,'' Mr. Hobson said. ''It's definitely frustrating, and we still kick ourselves that Judge Moore didn't win.''
When Election Day came, Mr. Jones became the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter of a century, defeating Mr. Moore by 21,924 votes in a race that drew more than 22,800 write-in votes. More than 1.3 million ballots were cast over all.
Many of the write-in votes went to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Condoleezza Rice '-- an Alabama native and former secretary of state '-- certain popular football coaches and Jesus Christ. Mr. Watson drew just a few hundred votes.
Mr. Watson noticed one other oddity. The day after the vote, the Facebook page that had taken such an interest in him had vanished.
''It was a group that, like, honest to God, next day was gone,'' said Mr. Watson.
''It was weird,'' he said. ''The whole thing was weird.''
Jonathan Martin and Rachel Shorey contributed reporting.
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