What do Hillary Clinton and the communist government of China have in common? Aside from their shared support for subverting freedom, lack of respect for human rights, and support of invasive surveillance, they both possess armies of trolls who manipulate online narratives.
According to a new report from researchers at Harvard’s Department of Government, the Chinese government employs millions of people to make posts praising government on their behalf. The internet mercenaries are deemed, collectively, “The 50 Cent Party,” because of rumors they are paid per post (the report concluded they do not appeared to be paid and most are government employees to begin with). They are believed to make 488 million posts per year.
After a blogger leaked hacked official email archives, the long-suspected program was confirmed to be real. Those leaks “reported activities of Internet commentators, including numerous 50c posts from workers claiming credit for completing their assignments, and many other communications.” The posts were often “cheerleading” for government, sometimes to “distract the public, although this activity can be also be used to distract from other events, general negativity, specific grievances, etc.” Posts that reflected positively on government made up the majority of so-called 50 centers’ activity, and the researchers theorized it “is a strategy designed to actively distract and redirect public attention from ongoing criticism, other grievances, or collective action.”
Perhaps such behavior is to be expected of an overarching communist regime, but Hillary Clinton’s internet army made headlines before China’s. As Anti-Media reported last month, the Clinton campaign has invested $1 million to fund an army of internet crusaders to challenge negative conversations about her online. That army, called “Barrier Breakers” and is a division of her organization, Correct the Record, which describes itself as “a strategic research and rapid response team designed to defend Hillary Clinton from baseless attacks.”
According to Correct the Record’s website, Barrier Breakers is intended to “serve as a resource for supporters looking for positive content and push-back to share with their online progressive communities, as well as thanking prominent supporters and committed superdelegates on social media.” (By “committed superdelegates,” perhaps they mean “paid lobbyists.”)
The project is extensive, “including the more than tripling of its digital operation to engage in online messaging both for Secretary Clinton and to push back against attackers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram.”
It appears 50 centers and Barrier Breakers are performing the same function: creating potentially artificial perceptions that the Chinese government and Hillary Clinton, respectively, enjoy enthusiastic support (it’s likely some members of both the Chinese and Clinton social media teams do genuinely believe the things they post). But there are differences.
For one, the Chinese government has attempted to keep its operations secret. In contrast, the Clinton campaign has made its intentions public, seizing the opportunity to couch their attempts to control the conversation in proactive language that conflates itself with combating online harassment. “The task force currently combats online political harassment, having already addressed more than 5,000 individuals who have personally attacked Secretary Clinton on Twitter,” they boast. They do not disclose whether task force members’ individual identities are public or private.
Correct the Record claims Hillary supporters are “oftentimes are discouraged from engaging online and are ‘often afraid to voice their thoughts’ because of the fear of online harassment,” using this, evidently, as justification for paying people to post positive sentiments about the candidate, who currently suffers a likeability problem as severe as reviled presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
The biggest difference between Clinton and the Chinese government in their efforts to sway conversations online concerns the degree of defensive engagement they display: according to the researchers, the Chinese government’s posters “do not step up to defend the government, its leaders, and their policies from criticism, no matter how vitriolic; indeed, they seem to avoid controversial issues entirely,” preferring, rather, to use cheerleading efforts to distract and redirect. “Letting an argument die, or changing the subject, usually works much better than picking an argument and getting someone’s back up,” the researchers explained.
In contrast, Clinton’s Barrier Breakers project openly admits its active engagement in countering anti-Hillary narratives. Referencing “Bernie Bros,” Barrier Breakers vows to use what they’ve learned to “quickly and forcefully [respond] to negative attacks and false narratives.” This reaches beyond the Chinese government’s designs to distract with cheerleading; it’s an unabashed effort to change minds — even as Barrier Breakers fails to elaborate on the “false narratives” they plan to challenge.
Their goal conveniently ignores Clinton’s own proclivity for dishonesty and manipulating narratives. Indeed, her collective of paid public supporters extends to cable news, where many pundits praise her but fail to disclose they are on her payroll.
Hillary Clinton and the Chinese government are not the only entities who attempt to mold narratives and public perception to their benefit. Donald Trump was caught hiring real-life actors to drum up enthusiasm for his campaign. In the social media sphere, the Israeli government has a student program, called “Hasbara,” meant to counter online speech critical of Israel. British spy agency, GCHQ, which wokrks closely with the NSA, has a program to manipulate online political narratives and destroy the reputations of activist movements. And of course, the American government, namely — that we know of — the military, uses sock puppet accounts to spread pro-American propaganda.
While Barrier Breakers is, perhaps, more permissible than the Chinese government’s program, in that it is not officially sponsored by government, Clinton has given the populace no reason to believe her manipulative practices will cease should she make it to the White House.
The former editor of the Tribune de Genève, [Guy Mettan-RI] visited Moscow and presented his new book Russia and the West: A Thousand Year War, which reviews the phenomenon of Russophobia: its roots, historical evolution and modern incarnations. Izvestia had a chance to interview him.
What inspired you to write about this?
There are two reasons why I began this work. The first is a personal, family reason. In 1994, my wife and I adopted a Russian girl, who now is now 25. Her name is Oksana, and she is from the Vladimir region. After we adopted her, I became interested ...
Netanyahu has the audacity to sell Murdoch & Rothschild Syria’s Oil
What could cause Russia to invade Israel
At the time, Israel’s Prime Minister had flown to Washington, and was making a desperate bid to get Obama’s support for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Only a few weeks earlier a discovery had been made that would serve to increase tensions on the question of sovereignty over the Golan – huge oil deposits were found on the Golan Heights, and verified by an Israeli company.
Yet, weeks later, Benjamin Netanyahu returned to Israel having failed to secure Obamas support.
It wasnt long before the United ...
I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views.
The degradation of ...
After the April War of 6−18th, 1941, the Germans, Italians, Bulgarians and Hungarians occupied and divided the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia into several parts. The Germans annexed the North Slovenia and put under their direct occupation the Yugoslav part of Banat and the Central Serbia with Kosovska Mitrovica. The Italians occupied the South Slovenia, established their marionette regime in Montenegro and annexed the Gulf of Boka Kotorska, parts of Konavli and Dalmatia. The Hungarians annexed Prekomurje, Baranja and Bachka. The Bulgarians occupied the East and Central Vardar Macedonia and the South-East Serbia. The Italians established their own marionette ...
CNN explained well “5 surprising lessons from Trump’s astonishing win”, and the historic crushing failure of traditional Presidential-year American politics, but it really boils down to one simple fact: In the battleground states, where most of the advertising dollars and get-out-the-vote money was being spent, the Trump organization made use of the Republican-Party organization in those portions of the campaign-operation that benefited from those established contacts and its tried-and-tested methods and techniques, but not in the portions of the campaign-operation that needed to be improved and to function better than in all prior U.S. Presidential elections.
The simple fact is that ...
In nineties, Srebrenica was the center of terrorist activities – « Jihad », the Muslim 28th Division under the command of Naser Oric Monster, with the participation of mujahedeens operated here, covered by UN and US forces. In 1993, The Embassy of Bosnia & Herzegovina, in Vienna, even issued the Bosnian passport to Osama bin Laden! Thus, Bin Laden became honored Bosnian citizen, under blessings of the Bill Clinton administration.
The US diplomacy is still supporting the pro-Muslims’ politics in the Balkans. Bil Laden was killed, but his mujaheedins can still freely work in Kosovo, Bosnia and Macedonia. How is that ...
Mainstream TV news anchors including MSNBC’s Chris Hayes are reporting as fact—with fuming indignation—that Russia (and specifically Vladimir Putin) not only sought to influence the U.S. election (and—gosh!—promote “doubt” about the whole legitimacy of the U.S. electoral system) but to throw the vote to Donald Trump.
The main accusation is that the DNC and Podesta emails leaked through Wikileaks were provided by state-backed Russian hackers (while they did not leak material hacked from the Republicans). I have my doubts on this. Former U.S. ambassador to Uzbekistan and torture whistle-blower Craig Murray, a friend of Julian Assange, has stated that the DNC ...
First published by GR in February 2015 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Terror Attacks
The barbarous phenomenon we recently witnessed in France has roots that go back to at least 1979 when the mujahedeen made their appearance in Afghanistan. At that time their ire was directed at the leftist Taraki government that had come into power in April of 1978. This government’s ascension to power was a sudden and totally indigenous happening – with equal surprise to both the USA and the USSR.
In April of 1978 the Afghan army deposed the country’s government because of its oppressive measures, and ...
BELGRADE – Many innocent civilians were killed in American military interventions around the world – from Vietnam and Serbia to Iran and Afghanistan, because of the alleged “errors” or “collateral damage” – without consequences for civil and military leadership. In addition to political, military and every other power, Americans secured itself with legal mechanisms.
Twenty-two civilians, wounded and doctors, among them three children, were killed in the American bombing of a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. Americans acknowledged the error and apologized. The President of the United States expressed his condolences, the military leadership announced three independent investigations. “Doctors ...
On Monday March 23, the US House of Representatives adopted H. Res. 162 urging president Obama “to provide Ukraine with military assistance” in dire attempt to reignite conflict in the East of Ukraine, mainly frozen as a result of February 2015 Minsk agreements between Kiev and the outbreak Donetsk and Lugansk provinces with French, German and Russian mediation. The general presumptions of the resolution are as evident as false: it contains routine mantras about “Russian aggression”, “Crimea occupation”, “violent separatist proxies” and “insurrection that has resulted in over 6,000 dead, 15,000 wounded, and more than a million displaced persons”, as ...
I am a lifelong FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) Democrat and therefore am anything other than prejudiced against the Democratic Party. But, that Party died when Bill Clinton became President and undid FDR’s regulations on the megabanks and FDR’s AFDC income program for children in poor families, and when Clinton replaced that with restoration of Wall Street’s control over America (like before FDR, only a more convoluted form of it).
However, the way in which both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton endanger all people’s lives and property and health and welfare, has to do with something else, something that’s even more ...
The world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.
America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms ...
A quick review of Ukraine, Zbig’s Grand Chessboard – How the West Was Checkmated is simple – this amazing work should be in everyone’s reading library. Anyone who cares to understand the situation of what has happened, and is happening in Ukraine needs to read this book. It covers the history of the dissolution of the USSR, the resulting creation of Ukraine, and the history of the U.S.’ attempts through various government and non-government organizations (e.g. Soros) towards the first failed colour revolution (Orange, 2004), then on towards the second attempt resulting in the successful installation of the noenazi puppet ...
“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted”
D. H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature
Individual U.S. Presidents come and go, but the Oval Office is reserved for the Killer-in-Chief. If, as these war-mongers like to say, “the buck stops here,” then our latest incarnation of a “leader,” Donald Trump, has in a few months accumulated enough guilt to last endless lifetimes. There are no excuses. While the headlines scream distractions from the bloodbath, Trump and his “team” are slaughtering innocents in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and countless other places off the American public’s radar.
This article was written and originally published in January 2015.
„God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way, and death for sake of God is the highest of our aspirations“
The West Europe before the 2014 Christmas became once again a target of several mini-terrorist acts by the radical Islamists among whom the Wahabbies are the most active and dangerous. On Tuesday, December 23rd, Germany’s security service warn of highest terrorist threat in decades as the German participation in the anti-ISIS struggle became the reason for potential terrorism. ...
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established to prosecute culpable individuals for crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.
Its mandate calls for “end(ing) impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern.”
US and Israeli officials are guilty of the highest of high crimes. Yet none of their officials ever were held accountable – not by their own courts or the ICC.
The international body operates on the principle of complementarity. It can only prosecute when governments won’t or can’t – even against officials of non ICC-member countries like America and Israel.
On December 31, 2000, Bill Clinton signed the Rome ...
Neocon 101: What do Neoconservatives Believe?
“Neocons” believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.
Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of ...
Fourteen years ago the U.S. Government de-classified the now famous “La Vista Report” of May 15, 1947, a top-secret U.S. Army Intelligence report documenting the Vatican’s role in aiding the escape of numerous high-ranking Nazi war criminals, among them Ante Pavelic, fascist leader of wartime Croatia; Franz Stangel, Commander of Treblinka; Eduard Roschmann, “the Butcher of Riga”; Klaus Barbie, “the Butcher of Lyon”; SS General Walter Rauff, inventor of the mobile gas truck; Adolf Eichmann, “architect of the Holocaust”; and tens of thousands of others. Writing about the document prior to its release, internationally renowned Nazi hunter Charles R. Allen ...
Warring hotspots all over the world are flaring up in 2016 in what amounts to preparation for World War III between the military forces of the US led Western Empire against the forces of the Eastern axis led by Russia and China joined by Iran and North Korea. Let’s be clear – the globalists are the puppet masters behind the Western forces intentionally provoking catastrophic world war.
We live in a time when the earth’s ruling elite has willfully created this foreboding, seemingly suicidal endgame scenario, using US Empire to prod, orchestrate, and push the world into two enemy camps in a West ...
US duopoly power replaced the eras of Jefferson, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. No JFKs exist, President Kennedy as we recall was a peacemaker assassinated for opposing war, urging nuclear disarmament and the normalization of relations with the Soviet Union.
New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society programs are heading for history’s dust bin.
Bipartisan neocons infesting Washington want social justice ended, neoliberal enslavement replacing it, fascist police state harshness enforcing it.
America is a gangster state, criminals running it – beginning in the 1990s under Bill Clinton, hardened under George W. Bush, institutionalized under Obama, certain to worsen no matter who succeeds him.
The Long History Of Russophobia, Starting With Its Religious Roots
Donald Trump – A Super Zionist?
From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II
Remembering A Magnum Crimen In The Independent State Of Croatia, 1941−1945
Trump’s Win Wasn’t Ideological. It Was Brilliant
Srebrenica, Another Genocide Over Serbian Population
The Cold War, Continued: Post-Election Russophobia
Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
Why US’s “collateral damage” and “errors” are not a war crime?
Arms To The Sadists: US Congress Urges Pres. Obama To Provide Ukraine With More Torture Techniques
“Beating the Drums of War”: How Obama and Clinton Are Endangering All of Us
Neoliberalism and The Globalization of War. America’s Hegemonic Project
Ukraine: Zbig’s Grand Chessboard – How the West Was Checkmated
The Killers from the Oval Office
Making Balkan Caliphate: The Wahhabies – A New Danger For The Balkan And European Security
The International Criminal Court (ICC) Does Not Prosecute War Criminals
Pax Americana: Who Are the Neocon Imperialists?
The Vatican’s Complicity in Genocide in Fascist Croatia: The Suppressed Chapter of Holocaust History
Nightmarish Global Military Agenda
The Parties of Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR Are Dead. Bipartisan Neocons Infesting Washington, What Prospects for America?