* Block Club Chicago…
A Russian company that’s sought to influence American events, including the 2016 presidential election, posed as a beloved, but long-shuttered Chicago newspaper on social media for years, according to NPR.
Another example: The Internet Research Agency created an account that looks like it is the Chicago Daily News. That newspaper shuttered in 1978.
The Internet Research Agency-linked account was created in May 2014, and for years, it just posted local headlines, accumulating some 19,000 followers by July 2016.
Another twist: These accounts apparently never spread misinformation. In fact, they posted real local news, serving as sleeper accounts building trust and readership for some future, unforeseen effort.
“They set them up for a reason. And if at any given moment, they wanted to operationalize this network of what seemed to be local American news handles, they can significantly influence the narrative on a breaking news story,” Schafer told NPR. “But now instead of just showing up online and flooding it with news sites, they have these accounts with two years of credible history.”
Twitter caught these Internet Research Agency accounts in the act and suspended them.
I remember seeing that Twitter account and wondering what the heck was going on. It looked totally benign to me, though, so I didn’t think much more of it.
* Other stuff…
* ADDED: Rep. Peter Roskam: Russia’s interference with our democratic process is appalling and undeniable. The President has a responsibility to not only confront Vladimir Putin for attacking our democracy, but to use all tools available to prevent future acts of aggression that could undermine the cornerstone of our republic – free and fair elections. Vladimir Putin is not our ally – he is a brutal dictator who has undermined our democratic institutions; invaded and continues to illegally occupy the territory of our allies Ukraine and Georgia; and continues to support the massacre of hundreds of thousands in Syria. We must maintain a united front with our partners around the world to confront Russian aggression. Today’s press conference was an affront to American democracy and the Intelligence Community and a victory for Russian propaganda. The President has a duty to hold Vladimir Putin to account.
* @IllinoisWorking: Today, Donald Trump cast doubt on Russian interference in the 2016 election. On Friday, @TheJusticeDept said Russia hacked the Illinois State Board of Elections website and stole the personal information of 500,000 Illinoisans. Who does Bruce Rauner believe?
* Illinois Dems Blast Trump On Twitter After Summit With Putin: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-16th District) was one of the only Illinois Republican congressional members to criticize Trump, but did not mention him directly in this Tweet: The American people deserve the truth, & to disregard the legitimacy of our intelligence officials is a disservice to the men & women who serve this country. It’s time to wake up & face reality. #Putin is not our friend; he’s an enemy to our freedom.
* The Moscow Midterms - How Russia could steal our next election: What happened in Illinois had him anxious. It was like the hackers wanted someone to notice they were in the system — they had practically alerted IT themselves with the amount of noise they were making, bombarding the servers. Why? And why hadn’t John’s cyberforensics guys found any back door to the attack? Were the Russians still there, lying quietly hidden until the right moment?