For two months, freelance journalist Lyudmila Savchuk worked in a four-story building in the middle of St. Petersburg, Russia. She wrote fake news. She was an “internet operator” in the secret troll factory called Internet Research. When she got the job, she was told that her job was to write articles praising Putin and the Kremlin. However, as soon as she found out that her real job was to spread lies promoting Putin’s agenda, she quit. Telegraph article
“We had to say Putin was a fine fellow and a great figure, that Russia’s opponents were bad and Obama was an idiot,” she recalled.
“I want to get it closed down,” she explained. “These people are using propaganda to destroy objectivity and make people doubt the motives of any civil protest. Worst of all, they’re doing it by pretending to be us, the citizens of Russia.”
Savchuk told the AP, how she and hundreds of co-workers would send out thousands of articles across the internet, saturated with pro-Putin opinions. In turn, this fake news would be fed into thousands of Western and Russian websites. Each day, this small office in St. Petersburg, generated enough propaganda to infiltrate millions of people across this world.
Sometimes, she said in her interview, she would get a bullet list of what to write about and what emotions her writings were to invoke NBCnews article.
Last week, during a senate intelligence hearing, committee leaders heard reports confirming these troll factories in Russia. Apparently, during the election, Russia had at least 1,000 people writing fake news stories that would hurt Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“What really concerns me [are reports] there were upwards of 1,000 paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia, in effect taking over a series of computers which are then called botnets that can generate news down to specific areas,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said.
Warner went on to elaborate how these Russian government employed trolls sent their Clinton-bashing fake news to swing states, like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – three states that narrowly went to Trump, HuffingtonPost article.
“An outside foreign adversary effectively sought to hijack the most critical democratic process, the election of a president, and in that process, decided to favor one candidate over another,” Warner said.
Although tricking Americans to vote someone in as president, would seem like the most horrendous crime possible, the first step in the investigation is figuring out if a crime was committed at all.
What’s the crime here? No one held a gun to a Trumpkin’s head. The Trumpkin was influenced by “news” that he read. There is nothing wrong with that. Are nation emphatically believes in freedom of the press. Who do you blame? The voter, the person who wrote the article, the Russian government that designed the article, the websites that disseminated the articles?
Republican strategist Roger Stone, is so confident of his innocence, he has volunteered to be interviewed by the senate committee. Roger Stone claims he has done nothing wrong. He could very well be right. His hands are covered in blood. More important though, he claims that “they have no proof”, Politico article.
Russia has implemented the perfect crime. Through social media, Putin has sculpted the minds of millions of people. He has influenced some of the most important elections around the world. Similar accusations of Russian cyber attacks in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, France and Austria have also been made, USAToday article. But he has broken no crimes.
If some of the upcoming elections go Putin’s way, he would have hand-picked most of the rulers of the developed world.
A common republican reaction will be to stick their fingers in their ears and deny any such collusion between Russia and Trump. However, seventeen U.S. Intelligence Community agencies unanimously concluded with high confidence that Russia ran a significant operation to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. Also, the FBI director recently confirmed under oath that Donald Trump and his campaign/administration are under active FBI investigation for possibly colluding with Russia in this plot to affect the election, Newsweek article.
Another instinctive republican response will be to claim liberals are trying to ruin Trump. This is a terrible excuse. Liberals have been removed from power. Republicans who are fighting for the truth. John McCain, Marco Rubio and James Comey, are the ones who are currently uncovering this Russian fiasco.
And so, Russia has finally placed a puppet in the White House. Though, they broke no laws in wedging his fat orange ass through the door. The speakers at the senate hearing also said that Russia’s main objective was to turn Americans against each other. They succeeded. Russia is making us hate our neighbors. Whether it be Hillary and Trump, Hillary and Bernie, or the immigrant.
Lady Liberty has changed her identity. America is no longer a place where the persecuted could seek asylum. Our friends and neighbors are being asked to leave their jobs and families and return where they came from. What have we become?
I watched those senate hearings last week, and I was so frightened about Russia’s cyber invasion into our backyards, that I have decided to start writing daily articles on this very topic.
Disrupt Fake News will be my outlet.
Our only weapon against this deplorable violation of justice is to stick together. Furthermore, I need your help. Anything you read on the internet, that you think relates with this epidemic, please post it on our site. If you want to write an article about Putin’s invasion, please do so and post it on our site.
Russia has succeeded in making us hate each other. Let’s fight fake news with real news.