Putin Has Shifted His Internet Propaganda Army Into Overdrive

from the truth-should-not-be-relative dept

While propaganda is certainly not the exclusive territory of Putin's Russia, it has become clear that Putin and friends -- when not busy arranging accidents for administration critics -- have taken internet propaganda specifically to an entirely new level. Back in April, reports started emerging detailing how Putin has built entire factories dedicated to soiling and seeding the internet with propaganda. Armies of paid sockpuppets get paid 40,000 to 50,000 rubles ($800 to $1,000) a month to create proxied, viable fake personas -- specifically tasked with pumping the internet full of toxic disinformation twenty-four hours a day.

It has been fascinating to watch whistleblowers at these factories coming forward in recent months, detailing how they're shocked by how effective such efforts are on shaping public discourse:
"The scariest thing is when you talk to your friends and they are repeating the same things you saw in the technical tasks, and you realize that all this is having an effect,” the former worker said."
Interestingly, one of the workers at these factories was recently courageous enough to put her name in print. Journalist and single mother Lyuda Savchuk states she knew she was entering an "Orwellian universe" when she took the job, but found things notably worse than she ever imagined once inside:
"I knew it was something bad, but of course I never suspected that it was this horrible and this large-scale," she said in an interview in her apartment, which has colorful drawings on the walls for her two preschool-age children. She described how the trolls manage several social media accounts under different nicknames, such as koka-kola23, green--margo and Funornotfun. Those in her department had to bash out 160 blog posts during a 12-hour shift. Trolls in other departments flooded the Internet with doctored images and pro-Putin commentary on news stories that crop up on Russian and Western news portals."
While the AP report states Savchuk quit, other reports suggest that she was fired only after speaking to the media. Not only that, Savchuk is suing the government, focusing on the lack of paperwork outlining her responsibilities or the reason for her firing (apparently the Russian government isn't keen on a paper trail). She's also organizing an activist retaliation to the propaganda efforts:
"The ‘troll factory’ operates based on very weird schemes, but all those firms are connected to each other, even though they are separate legal entities,” Savchuk was quoted as saying. Since her dismissal, Savchuk has been organising a public movement against online trolling called Informatsionny Mir – a name that can be translated both as “Information World” and "Information Peace." "There are both opposition activists and supporters of the government among us, but we all believe that such methods of information war are unacceptable,” she said."
Several of the reports note that there has been a concerted effort to hire more English speaking trolls to try and influence thinking in the United States as well, as Russia gleefully annexes the Ukraine and tries to defend its atrocious positions on gay rights. Internet Research, the company that runs the operation and is owned by a friend of Putin, has also taken to hiring more Serbian trolls to try and pull Serbia off of its trajectory as a future EU member. As has long been the case, this propaganda operates hand in hand with the use of violence to silence opposition:
"When Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed in Moscow in late February, the Serbian trolls were quick to react. "Who is to gain from this assassination but America? It must have been CIA," was the dominant mantra that took hold in discussions on Serbian news sites. "Likes" went into the hundreds, while comments such as "Putin is responsible" received widespread ridicule."
Putin's problem? Propaganda usually only works well when it's not easily identifiable as propaganda. Putin and friends appear to believe they can overcome this problem by simply operating on a massive scale, using not only its troll factories but tens of thousands of Twitter bots to shout nonsense from every internet street corner. Of course you'd like to think the pillars of truth have their roots in firmer bedrock, and on most of these issues (like gay rights) Putin's simply throwing money at a thunderstorm. But on other issues (like eroding support for Serbian EU integration or fostering support for Russia's invasion of the Ukraine), Putin's army of disinformation jackasses have been worryingly effective.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Velociraptor, 2 Jun 2015 @ 3:07pm

    Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

    Where are the WMD in Iraq? The "mushroom clouds"? The Iraqis living free from tyranny? What of the "sexed-up" reports? "Yellow-cake", and all that? Do you even remember the excuses to murder a million people, displace millions more, and waste four TRILLION dollars invading a country that wasn't a threat?

    How can you possibly take this without doubt when you run articles that the FBI is funding and coaxing patsies so can arrest them as "terrorists"?

    Of course YOU will claim that you're not a paid propagandist, so you must just be gullible beyond belief!

    Not a hint of suspicion that the former US of A has similar tools among the 850,000 spooks in "Top Secret America" that the Washington Post reported years back?

    If you can't at least read this alternate view, then you're a sucker for US propaganda:
    "Washington and its echo chamber media attack Putin for asserting Russian sovereign independence and opposing America's imperial agenda."
    http://rinf.com/alt-news/featured/relentless-putin-bashing/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Daniel (profile), 2 Jun 2015 @ 3:13pm

      Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

      Get back to work propaganda troll!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        shoots_den (profile), 2 Jun 2015 @ 7:07pm

        Re: Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

        Oh yes...
        "Someone says something political that supports what I disagree with, or that questions my assumptions. Therefore, they must be propagandists."

        ........

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2015 @ 11:06pm

        Re: Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

        Except there is a miasma of 'public relations' around the reasons for the Iraq war.

        The use of the words 'propaganda' and 'troll' indicate a negative framed response - did you dislike or disagree with the idea of pointing out the media efforts of the Iraq war were somehow disingenious?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Watchit (profile), 2 Jun 2015 @ 3:19pm

      Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

      I can't tell if this is a serious propaganda troll or really well made satire.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Velociraptor, 2 Jun 2015 @ 3:36pm

        Re: Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

        >>> I can't tell if this is a serious propaganda troll or really well made satire.

        I'm sure you can't. QED.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Just Another Anonymous Troll, 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

          Oh well,it's blue. I recognize his incorrect use of QED. So, you've hired yourself out to the Russians, eh blue? QED.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Velociraptor, 2 Jun 2015 @ 3:38pm

        Re: Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

        >>> I can't tell if this is a serious propaganda troll or really well made satire.

        I'm sure you can't! QED.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        sorrykb (profile), 2 Jun 2015 @ 4:00pm

        Re: Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

        Safe to assume, then, that either the commenter or the comment is a joke.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 4:53am

        Re: Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

        1st off - is it a list of facts?

        You can be troll'ed with a list of facts. Because sometimes actual facts upset people and upsetting people is what trolls do.

        How the US of A conducts itself is controversial and discussion is inflammatory to many who make their living off of these actions. And the conduct of the US of A could be considered off-topic or irrelevant to a discussion of Putin.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2015 @ 3:38pm

      Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

      "Washington and its echo chamber media attack Putin for asserting Russian sovereign independence and opposing America's imperial agenda."

      The first is part correct, but its not just Washington, its mostly everyone.

      after the word FOR, you assumption as to why they attack is incorrect. It's more like, because he's a punk, poser, closet fag, with problems.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Joe K, 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:03pm

        Re: Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

        after the word FOR, you assumption as to why they attack is incorrect. It's more like, because he's a punk, poser, closet fag, with problems.


        Stay classy, soldier.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      That One Other Not So Random Guy, 2 Jun 2015 @ 4:39pm

      Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

      Calm down little fellah. Regulars here know Mike did a story on Ntrepid getting the contract for the software in our Troll Factories.

      Maybe you should have checked before foaming off at the mouth:
      US Military Kicks Off Plan To Fill Social Networks With Fake Sock Puppet Accounts
      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110318/02153313534/us-military-kicks-off-plan-to-fill-so cial-networks-with-fake-sock-puppet-accounts.shtml

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2015 @ 7:52pm

      Re: Your total evidence is trusting those who FAKED up the Iraq war.

      You're not going to find a whole lot of blog audiences that are more distrusting of the government that here on TD. But thanks for providing the perfect example of the paid trolling by the Russian gov't.

      But I don't hold it against you--I assume you are just another working schmuck with a family to feed, getting paid to do a job.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2015 @ 8:07pm

      Re:

      Back to spamming the site with TOR-based puns and switched IP addresses, are you?

      out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2015 @ 3:15pm

    I think we can all agree Ukrainians are screwed no matter which side wins. They are caught in the middle between 2 groups that only want what Ukraine has for themselves, not to better the lives of its citizens

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2015 @ 4:00pm

    **lifts leg and passes gas loudly

    "just call me Vladamire; cause I be poot'n"


    *joke curtisy of us propaganda corps

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    That One Other Not So Random Guy, 2 Jun 2015 @ 4:07pm

    Armies of paid sockpuppets get paid 40,000 to 50,000 rubles ($800 to $1,000) a month to create proxied, viable fake personas

    Couldn't they just contact Ntrepid like the US did?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 2 Jun 2015 @ 4:07pm

    Ahh yes the unmistakable stench of Putin-bots and Russia Today. And the bile that is Russian nationalism.

    And ladies and gentlemen, now I give you the leaders of your nonsensical "no blood for oil" slogan for the past 13 years, the Putin apologists themselves the Stop the War coalition! http://stopwar.org.uk/news/the-real-enemy-is-not-russia-or-vladimir-putin-it-is-the-hypocrisy-of-the -us-and-britain

    I looked forward to seeing millions of you marching against the imperialist, irredentist invasion of Ukraine by a Putin-revived-Tsarist Russia when it happened. I don't think it reached even a thousand.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 2 Jun 2015 @ 4:21pm

    I Doubt They'll Fool Anyone Outside of Russia.

    Backwards-looking, inwards-looking, totalitarian states always have difficulty producing people who speak English well enough for disinformation. A Russian who can speak English well enough to be understood, but not well enough to avoid being identified as Russian can always get a job as a janitor or garbageman in Portugal. And it's good, steady work.

    During the Second World War, the German commando chief, Otto Skorzeny tried to requisition English speakers, for his sabotage-troops, which would operate behind the Allied lines during the Battle of the Bulge, in December 1944, but he only got a bunch of guys who had taken English in school. The Germans who were likely to speak English well were also likely to have emigrated to get away from Hitler and the Nazis. Many of them did serve-- in the American army or the British army. During the battle, some of Skorzeny's best English-speakers, dressed in American uniforms, drove up to an American POL depot (Army gas station), and asked for "Petrol, please," when they should have said: "Gimme some gas, bud, and step on it!" They were immediately captured, worked over a bit until they "sang," and then shot.

    I take it we are all exposed on a daily basis to people on the telephone from India, claiming to be Microsoft tech support from California. They don't even talk the way educated Indians talk. There are varying ways you can respond to them. I've taken to the "Vampire Laugh," myself:

    "BWAHAHAHA! BWAHAHAHA! BWAHAHAHA! BWAHAHAHA!"

    It seems to work as well as anything, and saves time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Edward Teach, 2 Jun 2015 @ 4:21pm

    Does this sort of thing exist elsewhere?

    So the Internet Research Agency is in St Petersburg, Russia. Is a similar agency in St Petersburg, Florida, or is it somewhere else in the USA?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2015 @ 6:06pm

    what goes around comes around

    Four years ago, that same newspaper, The Guardian, ran a story about how the U.S. military was running secret operations trolling and propagandizing the internet. The article, "Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media" was also rather prophetic in predicting that other countries might respond in kind.

    17 March 2011

    The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

    A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

    The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

    The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.


    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

    Though in reality, the story of that Russian propaganda factory that caught Karl Bode's attention (assuming the story is even true and is not itself a counter-propaganda gig similar to 'WMD') seems very amateurish in comparison to the depth and sophistication to the US military's sock-puppetry programs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jay (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 5:08am

      Re: what goes around comes around

      People really should look at how Woodrow Wilson put us into war by manipulating emotion and decimating anyone that went against him with the Espionage Act.

      This seems rather reminiscent of the same thing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Joe K, 3 Jun 2015 @ 6:41pm

        Re: Re: what goes around comes around

        Personally, I find the idea of Russian Troll Armies® far less disturbing than CIA assets posing as journalists.

        But, you know, maybe it's just because I am Political Officer in Columbus, Ohio division of Russian Troll Army®.

        Seriously, dudes. The xenophobic fucktarderie expressed here makes me sicker than any "enemy propaganda" ever could.

        Putin's problem? Propaganda usually only works well when it's not easily identifiable as propaganda.


        Karl, take a look in the fucking mirror.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Socrates, 2 Jun 2015 @ 7:12pm

    Today Techdirt shame me

    I recommend Techdirt to people. Even with articles like this, I will continue to do so. I value the insight Techdirt provides.

    I have no issue with Techdirt lampooning Russian propaganda. (Propaganda should be exposed and ridiculed as much as possible IMHO.) The article is far to one sided for comfort though. I read "as Russia gleefully annexes" and cringe.

    It stings worst when commoners read it, because it makes them even more susceptible to main-stream-media "rooting for the hero home team" versus evil. Commoners I sent here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    brad, 2 Jun 2015 @ 7:53pm

    asdf

    Why are you singling Russia out? Other countries such as Israel and Great Britain do the same thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Rapnel (profile), 2 Jun 2015 @ 9:01pm

      Re: asdf

      Perhaps because the whistle blower said so? But if you'll pay attention you might see that leaders, in general, aren't quite taking this tube thing altogether seriously. The efforts to preserve the global power structures are only going to get more interesting. And when you need to take a break from watching leaders rip apart their own insides you can watch a MAFIAA cartoon sideshow.

      From this angle Russia seems to be led by a bunch of thieves and murderous villain types, at the moment. Israel? Sheesh, if God wrote down that's their land well I guess that gives them the right to, you know, kick shit over and plant a ranch. Great Britain? The "ban encryption" great britain? Snooper's paradise great britain? Fuck those guys.

      They're all pissing in the pot that, by right of our own existence, belongs to all of us, and then some. Just ask one of the seven guys that practically own the planet, they'll tell you, power is intoxicating, even for idiots that figure out how to charm crowds and countries.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2015 @ 10:10pm

    All this talk of propaganda reminds of commercials I see on TV advertising that shale gas fracking is perfectly safe with patriotic fireworks going off in the background. At the bottom of the screen it reads, "This ad paid for by the National Petroleum Institution."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MutuallyAssuredDisinformation (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 1:35am

    Is this news

    Not sure why this article in the NY times would be news, except as a funny example of Russia doing this badly.

    As others have commented everyone is in the game, and western powers more so than anyone else.

    This reminds me the NY times articles on Chinese spying and their special "internet spy army brigades", while America pressed the Chinese diplomatically on "their" spying problem. That all fizzled out and disappeared with the Snowden revelations.

    I cant help see this article as another stone in the western propaganda campaign against Putin the last few months, and not really about social media propaganda.

    People in glass houses...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 2:01am

    and the difference between what is going on here and in places like USA, UK is what, exactly? it seems to me that governments everywhere want everyone to use the internet as long as they only use it for what the governments say.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 5:14am

      Re:

      The difference should be that western countries use other measures. In case of secret services, nobody has anything to let the others hear. However, Russia and particularly Israel and Great Britain are moving more of such issues to common law enforcement entities and that is problematic.

      Be aware that russian politics is far less interactive with the population and the population is very apathic politically in Russia in general. It gives a lot more room for the government to act than in countries where the population would scream at the lack of transparency and "freedom". Russians are nice people and the strenghtening of national unity is positive overall. Still, the political apathy, the nationalism and the difficult access for non-conform media in russian language is making the issue of Ukraine and "the west" into a propaganda war where the truth is the first victim. This is a glimpse of the darkest part of that.

      This post is detailing an expose of a non-mainstream activity that would be lambasted no matter where it is happening because its modus operandi is to basically lie. Take "Russia" out of the context and the story would still be newsworthy on Techdirt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Validator, 3 Jun 2015 @ 3:07am

    This article is based on skillful fakery, and here is why:

    First of all, Lyuda Savchuk is a MALE name, not a female one. Ludya means Ludovic or Lodewijk (in dutch) and Savchuk is ukrainian MALE family name. Otherwise it would end up with suffix -enkova or -ovova.

    Second of all, how many eastern european folks command english language to such a high degree in order to pump/troll out 160 blogs daily, presumably in english langua-franca, in 12 hour shifts? About 0.1‰ of them. And they will CERTAINLY not do it for meagre peanuts of $800 to $1000 a month, that much I can assure you, if the official demand is so high for such workers.

    Third of all, U.S. gov't and its army leaders have already admitted they use sophisticated software and their own army of web trolls to spread their own pro-american propaganda, as mentioned by several other contributors in this discussion.

    Which all means, that Karl Bode, author of this very article, has most likely unwittingly fallen for an ukrainian-made honey-pot propaganda trap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Just Another Anonymous Troll, 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:48am

      Re: This article is based on skillful fakery, and here is why:

      Um... Russian troll armies have shown up in many places (I remember seeing a post from the Guardian regarding it) so I'd say that they most certainly do exist. Also, your third point is irrelevant and even if you only make $1000 a month, you're still overpaid.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:55am

        Re: Re: This article is based on skillful fakery, and here is why:

        So the fact that a lot of people "seem to be saying" that these supposed Russian trolls exist is proof of their existence?

        I think my very favourite part of this bullshit is how the magical lack of any tangible proof itself becomes "proof" of how evil and nefarious those Ruskies really are.

        In truth, there is no doubt that the Russian government is trying to make themselves look good, but I doubt they're doing anything we're not.

        By writing this horse shit, all Techdirt has done is shown that it's writers are easily manipulated.

        I expect more pro-US, anti-Russia propaganda from them in the future.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 12:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: This article is based on skillful fakery, and here is why:

          It is well known only commie trolls double space specious arguments.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Socrates, 3 Jun 2015 @ 2:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: This article is based on skillful fakery, and here is why:

          By writing this horse shit, all Techdirt has done is shown that it's writers are easily manipulated.


          I disagree

          The main stream media hammer the propaganda. How can anyone know that it is untrue! To assume that it is easy is a mistake, IMHO.

          I hold TD to a higher standard, Karl Bode included. TD does a better job than most. If Iran, Russia, IS, North Korea (and so on) is hammered, TD is often FOXed. This is an indication of the level of propaganda, not of TD being easily duped. Just look at other media and it is evident.

          TD also revise its position when they figure it out, a hallmark of true journalism. Perhaps North Korea wasn't responsible for the leaking Sony servers after all. TD also get it right from the start frequently, as in the Kim Dot Com saga.

          Still, when people I send to TD read FOXed articles, it feels like I had recommended that they should trust main-stream-media outlets or "the president". It's uncomfortable.


          There is telltale indicators to rapidly identify a lot of propaganda:
          - excessive use of emotional content
          - changing connotation while saying the same factual information. Like "he is patriotic"->US vs. "he is nationalistic"->everyone else.
          - giving wildly diverting description for the same group to invoke different emotion. Like "US bombs the terror group IS" vs. "Syria bombs the 'opposition'". Giving the impression that US stem the exodus of refugees to Europa while the Syrian government is the cause of the exodus. Anyone that checks would find that any opposition worth mentioning in Syria is the IS, and would instantly know that the lie is intentional.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Pragmatic, 5 Jun 2015 @ 6:25am

          Re: Re: Re: This article is based on skillful fakery, and here is why:

          Most of the writers are American...

          ...they're all Western.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:54am

      Re: This article is based on skillful fakery, and here is why:

      Please say hello to your bosses in troll army HQ!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Socrates, 3 Jun 2015 @ 1:35pm

      Re: This article is based on skillful fakery, and here is why:

      To me, the fakery seams somewhat overdone, with excessive use of emotion and even abuse of the "workers". But I notice that this is the standard modus operandi for these frauds.


      Still, it is not quite at the level of "Iraki soldiers forcing their way into premature wings of hospitals, throwing the infants at the floor, and then stealing the incubators." And told by the eye witness nurse herself. And retold by presidents.

      Or "Polish soldiers shooting border guards"


      This is often the precursor for war

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 6:28am

    How is this different than the liberal media in the US?

    The majority of the lamestream media in the US is in the backpocket of the Dems, so there is little difference here. Just look at the debates during Obama's re-election campaign. He was so used to being given softball questions that he couldn't answer the hard questions in the debate and got slaughtered by Romney.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 12:20pm

    God, I love these stories about Russia. It's about the only time the comments are worth a damn. It amuses me to no end to see the comments from Putin's troll army. Wall-to-wall fallacies of relevance in these comments.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 7:06am

      Re:

      Wall-to-wall fallacies of relevance in these comments.
      If you think that these are fallacies of relevance then you don't understand fallacies of relevance.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    blackturtle.us, 4 Jun 2015 @ 9:44am

    Media Bias Regarding Russia

    Normally I find Techdirt insightful, but this article is extremely disappointing. Fortunately, a number of commenters have done a good job of countering this horribly lame and uninformed article. I've spent the last few years studying Russian (and Russia) and as a result I've become more aware of the culture there and how our media presents a lot of misinformation regarding Russia and Putin. Although I don't personally agree with everything politicians in Russia do, I can say that our own politicians are at least as, if not more, unreasonable. So, to make a long story short, I don't have much confidence in portrayals of Russia presented by our biased and agenda-driven media. Having said that, I don't see Russia Today as any more biased or agenda-driven than CNN, CBS, FOX, or any of the other major media "news" sources here in the good ole USA. I would like to think that Techdirt in the future will be more conscientious in its coverage of issues related to Russia. Thank-you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 7:04am

    Snowden

    You would have thought that Edward Snowden would have been able to teach the Russians how to do a better job!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alex Bricks, 26 Jun 2015 @ 7:24pm

    Adrian Chen and Savchuk are real heroes! They destroyed WHOLE TROLL factory.Our government must treat them like heroes.Russia lost in this "internet war".Is it Savchuk on this photo?I'm very happy that she destroyed troll-factory #SavchukVSTrolls

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  • identicon
    Jacob, 27 Jun 2015 @ 3:38pm

    This factory must be closed!! All support to those who fight against trolls!!! #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jess, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:44pm

    Adrian Chen is a great Spy.He must be recruited by CIA. And Savchuk is so damn sexy.I want to bang her in the *ss. Real troll-fighter.Savchuk is my hero now.She won athe internet.AGAIN. #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bobby, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:49pm

    The trolls are back to their caves!!!
    Lyudmila Savchuk has won! The truth has won! No more paid trolls on the net!!
    #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mary, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:50pm

    These Russian trolls will be gone soon! We all are saved by a simple Russian woman who is fighting for truth and justice, Lyudmila Savchuk!!!
    #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Justin, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:50pm

    I am happy that there will be no more propaganda on the net from these disgraceful trolls! God bless Lyudmila Savchuk for telling the world the truth!!! #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michel, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:51pm

    Lyudmila Savchuk is such a strong woman! Fighting all those trolls alone... It's a very courageous thing to do! I wish there were more people like her! #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paulene, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:52pm

    Thanks to Adrian Chen for exposing those damn trolls. I wish he also did something like this in America. But unfortunately there is no one like Lyudmila Savchuk in the USA to help him! #SavchukVSTroll

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:52pm

    We all should thank Adrian Chen and Lyudmila Savchuk for freeing us from the troll propaganda! #SavchukVSTrolls

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  • identicon
    Henry, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:53pm

    The girl who disclosed the whole propaganda machine is just amazing! I admire her!!! #SavchukVSTroll

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Frederick Hewles, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:54pm

    Russian trolls are gone! I am happy that there still are people like Lyudmila Savchuk who fight for justice!!!! #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Margaret Jackson, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:55pm

    Russian trolls have already been defeated! We should all thank Lyudmila Savchuk for exposing their factory!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Melany, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:55pm

    Adrian Chen did a great job! As for Savchuk, who exposed the trolls... She is a true hero! I wish we had someone like her in the United States! #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kenny, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:56pm

    The justice has reached those trolls! Their factory is closed thanks to Lyudmila Savchuk! I am happy that this propaganda is finally stopped!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Walter Hobbs, 27 Jun 2015 @ 5:57pm

    I am happy that this propaganda is finally stopped!!! Thanks to Lyudmila Savchuk and Adrian Chen from the New York Times the troll factory is closed! Russian trolls are gone! I am glad that there still are people like Lyudmila Savchuk who fight for justice!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JohnP, 27 Jun 2015 @ 7:59pm

    This troll factory must be closed immediately!!! What they do is awful! Huge support to people who fight them! #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sam, 27 Jun 2015 @ 10:11pm

    Savchuk is the best troll-hunter ever..#SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Linda Butlik, 28 Jun 2015 @ 8:45am

    All the trolls must be jailed! #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andre, 28 Jun 2015 @ 9:42am

    I'm really happy because someone put an end to it finally!

    Propaganda should be stopped! #SavchukVSTrolls

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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