The Media Is Becoming A Megaphone For Foreign Influence Operations

The Federalist | 1/24/2019 | Jim Hanson
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Our information space is broken. There is no way for a normal person to just check in and get the news. At best, we get news analysis colored by the partisan bias of the person or organization presenting it. At worst, we get propaganda tailored to create a narrative or stories presented without fact-checking and validation because they were too juicy to skip.

As our country has become more polarized over the past decade, this has become even more prevalent. This past weekend another false narrative blitzed though our public information space. A group of boys from Covington Catholic High School were accused of harassing a Native American elder and shouting racist slurs.

Organization - Minutes - Research - Information - Video

My organization debunked this with less than 30 minutes of research, and the information we put into this video was all available to the journalists who smeared these kids, but the tale of a MAGA-hat-wearing mob of teens was too good to pass up. The whole incident seems to have been precipitated by a fake account on Twitter with all the characteristics of an influence operation.

“The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil… the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers,” according to CNN.

Account - Way - Attempt - Dissension - Media

It is not known yet if this was a foreign or domestic account, but either way it was an attempt to stir dissension. It succeeded brilliantly by hitting the media’s preconceived notions about Trump supporters. Now it turns out the Native American Vietnam vet who was lionized as the brave victim, never served in Vietnam, although he seems to try and mislead people into thinking he did.

Another recent example was a “blockbuster scoop” by BuzzFeed claiming the Robert Mueller investigation had proof...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Federalist
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