#30 - The Russian Troll Army

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 04:10 PM

Last month, documents surfaced that showed a company called the Internet Research Agency was paying people in Russia to go to an office and post pro-Kremlin comments all day. Alex talks to Buzzfeed's Max Seddon about why they do it, and how successful they actually are at swaying public opinion.

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Comments [5]

Fred Milton Olsen from Madison, WI

Just put "I was a paid internet shill" or "I was a paid internet troll" into your favorite search engine.

You'll find out a lot, including that Israel was probably the first and foremost user of this tactic.

Hasbara is real. Hasbara reaches all the way from your local public radio station all the way to the old-boy boy distribution networks at the top of "public" radio. It seems that people of one particular ethnic/religious culture dominate our "public" media, largely on behalf of Israel.
This doesn't seem right to me. We don't get an accurate picture of what's going on when it is filtered through the lens of Judaic culture and upbringing.

For example, in my own state of Wisconsin, this ethnic-religious group makes up half (or more) of public radio top management and many staff. Wisconsin's population is composed one-half of one percent, demographically, of this group.

They are extremely secretive and have a history of news censorship, violating open records and meetings laws, and generally just being a bunch of tyrannical jerks. They also have a history of trying to give public radio a more "commercial sound" and have paid public and listener money for consultants to tell them this. They employ shills.

Oct. 05 2014 12:08 PM
James Demers from New York

China is another huge spammer of internet comment threads. The CCP sock puppets come out of the woodwork en masse; you can spot them by the fact that they all dutifully post their praises of the party (and the party line) within 24 hours, before moving on to their next assigned topic.

Jul. 14 2014 03:39 PM
Al Dorman from Baltimore

I'm sure you're next story will be about the Hasbara trolls paid by Israel to post racist nonsense all day. Oh yea, of course you only promote pro-establishment narratives.

THUS I WILL NEVER SEND YOU A CENT!

Jul. 10 2014 10:17 PM
Junior Drummond from Seattle, WA

Max Seddon obviously makes more than $2000 a month. Goody goody for you Max Seddon! On behalf of all hotel managers on earth, I say Max Seddon is an out of touch jerk.

Jul. 03 2014 01:02 PM
Jack Browne from Vashon, WA

WOW! I knew that USAID has done "propaganda" forever-- CIA front in Latin America, etc-- but, is it possible that OUR "Kremlin"- the Pentagon"- is doing this, too, on some level? Somehow, this seems like the kind of "Course' that might be part of curricula at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC... formerly "School of the Americas") where the U.S. has educated Latin Americans and others in "counter-insurgency" techniques (and allegedly "interrogation techniques", etc... and "Low-Intensity Conflict", sabotage, etc etc).
Why WOULDN'T the U.S. military do something like this? (Well, one reason might be a lack of multi-lingual candidates. As a nation, we certainly don't PROMOTE that aspect of education, generally.)
Great show! Glad I found it. Thanks!
^..^

Jun. 28 2014 01:32 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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