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Get ready for 2020 shenanigans, campers

Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

* Last week

[Illinois Board of Elections spokesperson Matt Dietrich] says that the Illinois State Board of Elections is also taking a leading role in combatting foreign disinformation campaigns. He says the board is working with Facebook and Twitter to thwart false messaging. For instance, he says targeted Facebook messages falsely stated that voters could vote by text message, or that Democrats and Republicans could vote on different days, all to suppress the vote.

“If we catch misinformation about the election, about the time of the polls, or telling people they can vote by text, we can quickly alert Facebook and have that post taken down,” Dietrich says. “Where it gets harder is what we saw in 2016, where you have groups putting out messages on Facebook saying things like, ‘Don’t show up.’ Those are harder for us to police because then you’re getting into a First Amendment issue.”

But as we shall see the misinformation goes way beyond that, and these campaigns may or may not all be foreign influenced.

* USA Today

As the final votes trickled in during last week’s Kentucky gubernatorial election, a network of automated Twitter accounts suddenly sprang into action.

They spread misinformation about the election being rigged, according to the CEO of a company that tracks political misinformation on social media.

Gideon Blocq, the founder and CEO of VineSight, told The Courier Journal his company witnessed thousands of accounts with “bot-like” automated behavior spreading misinformation about the race, including a screenshot of a tweet by one account claiming to have destroyed ballots with votes for incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

“Immediately at the end of the counting of the votes, these stories started popping up in parallel, all about the election being rigged,” Blocq said.

One of the tweets spreading the furthest came from user @Overlordkraken1, which tweeted at 8:39 p.m. he had “just shredded a box of Republican mail in ballots,” adding “Bye bye Bevin.” The tweet listed the user’s location as Louisville, though it misspelled the word. […]

While the suspended account was likely a real person just “trolling” with the shredding tweet, Blocq said “thousands” of bot accounts spread the screenshot in parallel with other tweets alleging that the election was rigged, showing “this is not a small operation… it is not just one person doing this.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    ===While the suspended account was likely a real person just “trolling” with the shredding tweet, Blocq said “thousands” of bot accounts spread the screenshot in parallel with other tweets alleging that the election was rigged, showing “this is not a small operation… it is not just one person doing this.”===

    And Kellyanne Conway was on the tee-vee within minutes of the race being called pushing the same BS about ballot tampering.

    It’s almost like the WH is in on it.


  2. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    The President himself has questioned the legitimacy of American elections since his election. He’s constantly undermining our democracy with his claims of massive voter fraud without the slightest bit of evidence to back up his hysterical claims. People need to stop it with this voter fraud stuff. And more importantly all of those gullible people out there who believe its true need to grow a brain and recognize these claims for what they are - nonsense.


  3. - Truthteller - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    It must be those Ukrainians again.


  4. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    Twitter and Facebook have become the party lines that were once the purview of old landlines. Time to hang up the “phone” on these dangerous shenanigans that neither party should tolerate. It would be great to see bipartisan town halls in local communities dedicated to voter rights and responsibilities.


  5. - Steve - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    America should look at Cook County for honest elections. Something to be real proud of .


  6. - FormerParatrooper - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:20 pm:

    I don’t see how you can stop misinformation. These steps may help mitigate it, but won’t ever stop it. We have the immunization paranoia, 5G paranoia and other paranoid theories that still have traction. Most people are too lazy to research and believe in everything they see on the internet or television. This goes for the whole political spectrum.


  7. - Sue - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    Bevens can throw a victory party with Staci Abraham’s the Governor of GA


  8. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    Conservatives are going to regret this eventually. Rick Scott in Florida made this claim late at night when he was behind Bill Nelson in his senate race, only to do a complete 180 after he was later declared the winner.

    One of these days there really will be voter irregularities that costs a republican an election, but no one is going to believe them because of the years they spent crying wolf on behalf of dopes like Bevin.


  9. - Unpopular - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    meh. get off the twitter.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    We as social media users have to do a better job of educating ourselves. One thing to do is read trusted and traditional news sources. There is an ongoing attempt by our president to delegitimize the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and others who don’t act like state-owned media for him.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    “How right you are. The New York Times is a most trusted news source.”

    Lol, posting an obviously-biased and anonymous blog to try to smear the NYT. About as weak as it gets. From your link:

    “The total link site for the news and information junkie: Libertarianism. Property Rights. Struggle Against Ever Expanding 14th Amendment.Government Corruption. Chicago Mob. Struggle Against Socialism. MAGA. Union Corruption. Pension Meltdown. Blacked Out History. New York Mob. Higher Education rip-offs. Housing Bubbles. Rent-seeking. Chicago Democratic Machine. Maoism. Gun Control Monopolists.Deep State. Organized Crime…Other Politically Incorrect matters of interest.”


  12. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 4:19 pm:

    Remember when Nixon refused to challenge the votes in Illinois and Texas in 1960? He thought it would harm the nation.

    Now we have losers on both sides challenging the legitimacy of elections. Each claim of an illegitimate election weakens us.


  13. - Scamp640 - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 4:40 pm:

    @ Sue: Your comparison is just another fine example of “whataboutism” that falls apart on closer analysis.


  14. - City Zen - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 4:44 pm:

    Now who will win all these unopposed elections in my district?


  15. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 6:53 pm:

    There was an article in Salon a few years back describing what Putin was up to. In short, Russia cannot compete with the US economically or militarily. So he wanted to drag the US and the west down, so the seeds of chaos.

    And so he has.

    History is filled with leaders who sold out their countries for personal or short-term political gain or power. We have been witness to that for 3 years.

    Anyone that can’t see that simply cannot see.


  16. - The Other Rich Hill - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 8:57 am:

    “and these campaigns may or may not all be foreign influenced.”

    ….Foreigners do not have First Amendment rights.


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