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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning that Russian agents could seek to further divide Americans by exploiting U.S. passions over whether pineapple belongs on pizza.
Cheesy - Warning - Message - Wednesday - Department
It's a cheesy, playful warning -- but it's trying to deliver a serious message. Posted online Wednesday by the department's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the tongue-in-cheek warning aims to help Americans identify and protect against propaganda campaigns from Russia and other foreign adversaries.
After all, the DHS warning says, Russian agents are capable of simultaneously insisting online that "Being anti-pineapple is un-American!" while also pushing out posts saying "Millennials are ruining pizza!"
Influencers - Lookout - Opportunities - Button - Issues
"Foreign influencers are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to inflame hot button issues in the United States," the new DHS warning says. "They don’t do this to win arguments; they want to see us divided."
According to the warning, foreign interference usually follows certain patterns.
Agents - Issue - Issue - Pineapple - Pizza
First, foreign agents identify a divisive issue to target -- though likely not an issue as silly as whether pineapple is an appropriate pizza topping.
"No matter how you slice it, Americans disagree on the fruit topping," the DHS document notes with a pun.
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© Department of Homeland Security Department of Homeland Security issues a warning using pineapple pizza.
After targeting a controversial issue, foreign agents then make sure social media accounts are in place, often reusing or renaming accounts "to pollute those debates with bad information and make our positions more extreme by picking fights, or 'trolling' people online," according to the DHS warning.
Version - Arguments - Sides - Issue - Information
The "most extreme version of arguments on both sides of an issue" often then become framed "as legitimate information sources," pushing them "into the mainstream" and carrying them to larger audiences, the DHS warning says.
The final step...
(Excerpt) Read more at: MSN
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