News1130: Israeli group finds fake pro-Netanyahu social media accounts. “An Israeli watchdog says it’s found a network of social media bots disseminating messages in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of next week’s elections. Two researchers operating the Big Bots Project said Monday they uncovered hundreds of fake accounts spreading messages in support of Netanyahu’s Likud party and smearing his opponents.”
CNN: FBI Director Wray says foreign influence campaigns targeting US have continued ‘virtually unabated’. “FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that while the US had not seen a “material impact on election infrastructure” from foreign adversaries in the recent midterm elections, foreign influence campaigns pitting Americans against each other on social media have continued ‘virtually unabated.'”
Snopes: Hiding in Plain Sight: PAC-Connected Activists Set Up ‘Local News’ Outlets. “Some stories practically write themselves, the details simple and clear. This investigation, spurred by a reader’s tip, was no such story. In collaboration with reporter Bethania Palma and operations staffers Vinny Green and Chris Reilly, lead reporter Alex Kasprak spent weeks untangling the reality behind a group of entities posing as newspapers in key battleground states going into the 2020 election. Even if you’re jaded by the torrent of daily headlines, including Russian meddling in U.S. election processes, you will want to spend some time with this story.”
Politico: ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates. “A POLITICO review of recent data extracted from Twitter and from other platforms, as well as interviews with data scientists and digital campaign strategists, suggests that the goal of the coordinated barrage appears to be undermining the nascent candidacies through the dissemination of memes, hashtags, misinformation and distortions of their positions. But the divisive nature of many of the posts also hints at a broader effort to sow discord and chaos within the Democratic presidential primary.”
CBC: Twitter trolls stoked debates about immigrants and pipelines in Canada, data show. “Twitter trolls linked to suspected foreign influence campaigns stoked controversy over pipelines and immigration in Canada, according to a CBC/Radio-Canada analysis of 9.6 million tweets from accounts since deleted. Roughly 21,600 tweets from those troll accounts directly targeted Canadians — many of them with messages critical of Canadian pipeline projects and tweets that highlighted divisions over Canada’s policies on immigration and refugees.”
Gizmodo: Fake FCC Comments Linked to Ex-Trump Campaign Director’s Org, Boosted By Roger Stone . “An organization run by a former Trump campaign statewide director is being investigated by the New York attorney general’s office for its role in the submission of potentially hundreds of thousands of fraudulent comments to the Federal Communications Commission during the agency’s 2017 efforts to rollback Obama-era net neutrality rules.”
Science 2.0: A Baltic Lesson For The US In How To Counter Russian Disinformation Tactics. “There are already indications that Cyber Command conducted operations against Russian disinformation on social media, including warning specific Russians not to interfere with the 2018 elections. However, low-level cyberwarfare is not necessarily the best way. European countries, especially the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have confronted Russian disinformation campaigns for decades. Their experience may offer useful lessons as the U.S. joins the battle.” I really like the idea of a “data embassy” that Estonia pioneered in 2017.