Threatcast 2020: Our New Brainstorming Game To Explore Disinformation In The 2020 Election

from the come-and-play dept

As you may recall, a few years back, I helped design and run a large group election simulation game called "Machine Learning President." The game explored what odd or surprising coalitions might form around a 2020 election, as well as the impact of both money and technology on the races. It was a fun exercise, but a complicated one to run, and, to date, it has only been run twice.

Last year, Renee DiResta, at the Mozilla Fellowship in Media, Misinformation, and Trust, commissioned myself and Randy Lubin (with whom we worked on Machine Learning President, our CIA card game, and a variety of other game-related projects) to create a group brainstorming exercise to explore ways in which disinformation might be used in the 2020 election, called Threatcast 2020.

The game is a unique and fun election simulation, designed to enable groups of people (~15 to 30 people or so) to creatively brainstorm how disinformation might impact all sides of the 2020 election. Throughout the game, players are repeatedly asked to come up with disinformation strategies, creative uses of technology, and to explore how those might be shaped by real world events. So far, we've run it privately in off-the-record settings, but I can say that it has generated some really amazing insights and ideas for both how disinformation might be used -- and how different actors might help to limit its impact.

Nathaniel Gleicher, the head of security policy at Facebook, whose entire role right now is focused on figuring out how to prevent Facebook from being abused for mis- and disinformation, recently tweeted that this kind of exercise is one of the "best ways to think like, and get ahead of the bad guys."

DiResta, who originally asked us to create this game, has talked about how engaging our game is, telling us that we "designed and ran a unique, engaging tabletop exercise that got all of the participants out of their usual modes of operating and into a space that inspired deep, creative thought -- while still having fun."

We're now hoping to run this game with more folks -- especially those working at tech companies, working on related policies, and those working in media for whom this process would likely be useful. If you're interested in having us run Threatcast2020 for you, please contact us.

Filed Under: brainstorming, disinformation, threatcast, threatcast 2020


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 11:32am

    No brainstorming of technical solutions to logistics or self preservation for coronavirus outbreak if indeed inevitable, Techdirt? None of these stories are going to matter much if we are all going to be in a world of shit.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Jan 2020 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      wut?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 1:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, wait for it then..

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Jan 2020 @ 4:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I honestly have no idea what you're saying. We shouldn't care at all about election disinformation (or anything else) because of the coronavirus? Look, it may be a big deal, but what a weird view that nothing else should be talked about.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 5:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not that nothing else should be talked about, but many technical questions will arise because of for one thing China shutting down. What that could mean for the rest of the world. It could be more important than anything else. Just hoping to get a discussion from the technical people here who love to delve deeply into analytical thought. That's all.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 6:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 9:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              China shutting down

              You really think China is going to "shut down" over this? China lived through SARS, and that shit was far, far less controlled. Sure, China underreported the Wuhan virus like they did SARS, but they admitted the situation far earlier this time. Odds are we're not going to see fatalities on the scale of 2003.

              The spread to Beijing aside, do you really think the rest of the country is likely to go belly up, given current information? That all the industry, tech, etc sectors are not going to be protected by the lockdown to the extent that they're all zombies walking? Loathe as I am to admit it, China actually gives a shit about melamin milk and SARS these days.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 10:35am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Can this just keep on infecting people? Also where are the 5 million people who got out of Wuhan before the travel lockdown? This could really be a mess. If it was a biological attack, I expect we will see more of this popping up elsewhere in time. Maybe not right away. That would give it away that it was. I love the seating diagram the airlines came out with shiwing people how not to catch coronavirus from someone seated on the plane and where you should sit relative to them!! ILMAO

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 1:02pm

                  How many people have died from this coronavirus outbreak, and how many people have died from influenza in this flu season?

                  Coronavirus isn’t the global extinction pandemic you want us to think it is. Take your scaremongering to an anti-China forum; I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to hear you cry about how the evil Chinese are gonna kill the world.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 1:16pm

      Re:

      Needs more MMS.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jan 2020 @ 4:02pm

      I have some bad news for you, anon: We’re already in a world of shit. Coronavirus won’t make things substantially worse than they already are. If you want to make us afraid of the evil Chinese or whatever, you won’t accomplish that here.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 4:43pm

        Re:

        Not my intentiin. But hoping for an in depth discussion of the technicality aspect of how life could be hit hard by China shutting down.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 5:36am

          Re: Re:

          China hasn't shut down, it's just taking precautions till this passes. And it will. We've gotten very good at controlling pandemics.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 10:58am

            Re: Re: Re:

            This is why I think this is a gamechanger. Before a person even knows he has contracted nCoV2019 and before any symptoms appear, that person can spread this disease. Nothing is going to prompt that person to go get checked or quarantine themselves when they don't realize they have it and so they spread it unknowingly to everyone over the course of a week before they get their first symptom. Is anyone seeing this in this way?

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 12:56pm

              Unless someone lives in an area where healthcare access (or the quality of the healthcare therein) is abysmal, coronavirus isn’t the threat you want us to be afraid it is. Yes, it can kill, but it’s not worse than influenza, which has killed several thousand Americans in this flu season alone. Your scaremongering and veiled xenophobia have no effect here.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 8:09pm

                Re:

                Stone leave it alone. I am not fearmongering. I want to understand how can it be possible to detect and stop the spread if people who contract it don't show symptoms but are contagious? I am looking for serious answers. Not you.

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 8:31pm

                  Re: Re:

                  30,000 people are flooding hospitals in China DAILY.

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 10:35pm

                    [citation needed]

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 11:31pm

                      Re:

                      The last place you want to be is in a hospital if you DON'T have the virus. I wonder how a person could test themself. A saliva test with a litmus of some sort or a small handheld microscope? Is this virus only found in the bloodstream? I am trying to think this through in order to not have to place yourself in a position where you are very likely to be exposed unneccessarily.

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                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 12:52am

                        Re: Re:

                        I have read that the Chinese doctors began treating infected patients wit HIV drugs. A vaccine will take a year or more to be tested adequately to be of any use.

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 11:33pm

                      Re:

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                      • icon
                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 7:51am

                        Not a citation.

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

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                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 9:26am

                          Re:

                          Read the latest update in that link. You are a pain in the ass. Are you even house broke? Dude

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                          • icon
                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 11:18am

                            Read the latest update in that link.

                            I did. I saw no citation for the claim “30,000 people are flooding hospitals in China daily”.

                            The Plaintiff's failure to cite the substance of their claims, as is required for those claims to be taken seriously, compels dismissal.

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                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 12:35pm

                              Re:

                              Jeezaw you are a heretic. If you read, which I am beginning to doubt you can, you will see it has been reported that 30,000 people DAILY are flooding hospitals in China. Whether they have been infected or merely wish to be tested, those hospitals are a very good place to contract the virus. My general inquiry here among all you Techdirt GENIUSES is how to self test before you have to enter one of these hotspots..

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 12:53pm

                                Re: Re:

                                Here is a real opportunity for someone to follow in Jonas Salk's footsteps, if you will, and devise a method for one to test themselves without having to rely on a doctor or clinic.

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                              • icon
                                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 1:14pm

                                it has been reported that 30,000 people DAILY are flooding hospitals in China

                                Paste the URL for the story, and quote the exact text of the story, that says what you think it says.

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                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 12:40pm

                              Re:

                              Hospitals and clinics in the area where the outbreak began in Hubei Province are being overwhelmed. They say every day, some 30,000 anxious people are crowding into their waiting rooms for consultations.

                              Direct from NHK story 250 now dead

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                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 12:49pm

                              Re:

                              New update. Maybe scroll down and read some more.. 250 dead update had that info. NHK Keeping up to date news.

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              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 12:03pm

                Re:

                Unless someone lives in an area where healthcare access (or the quality of the healthcare therein) is abysmal, coronavirus isn’t the threat you want us to be afraid it is.

                So, america?

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 1:14pm

                  Well, parts of it.

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

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 1:24pm

                    Re:

                    This was not a lot of people walking around a fish market who contracted this virus from a box full of bats or snakes. This was a biological attack. Wait for it to occur elsewhere. I don't believe the disinformation from some news outlets. Keeping panic down or whatever, I believe the Chinese Government knows the truth and are directing this narrative for time being.

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

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 1:45pm

                      This was a biological attack.

                      The Plaintiff's failure to cite the substance of their claims, as is required for those claims to be taken seriously, compels dismissal.

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

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                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 1:55pm

                        Re:

                        There has been a report that two Chinese agents stole the virus from a level four virology laboratory from Winnipeg, Canada.

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

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                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 1:57pm

                          Re: Re:

                          Maybe not a purposeful attack, but perhaps an accident. There is a level four Virology lab 20 miles from Wuhan.

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                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 2:18pm

                          There has been a report that

                          Who reported it? What other outlets have independently verified the claims of that report? You made the claim; let’s see you back it up.

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                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2020 @ 6:28pm

                            Re:

                            What possible motive would I have to lie about anything. I am reading a lot and I dont save links as I go. Stone, you can disbelieve everything into oblivion if thats what you want to do. Apparently NOBODY ELSE READS SHIT AROUND HERE. Well, I'm not your newsboy. I don't work for you. I only get exasperated by you. I'm fucking glad I don't know you.

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                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 8:55pm

                              Plaintiff argues that a news outlet reported the coronavirus outbreak was a biological attack. But Plaintiff offers no facts in their Complaint to support this proposition. Their Complaint is summarily dismissed.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 6:37am

          Re: Re:

          I think there is just such a discussion down the hall and to your right. Do let us know of any really interesting points that come out of it ok?

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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Jan 2020 @ 12:31pm

    Computer based game??

    Cause other wise its going to be complicated, being the Judge in the game..
    And even at that, its easy to prove that patterns are easy to create to bypass the computer programming.

    Then there is the idea that the Computer decides based on internet data from certain sites.
    Could have random sites run/ask questions and consolidate that data, do abit of math and let that data tell the Program whats working and not.
    Run strange AND real adverts and ask, and ask if the person believes them. Ask Questions about certain facts to test knowledge...
    Could be interesting..
    There is also another site, that does something interesting..
    Dontknowjack has expanded. into many games.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 12:50pm

    We had enough disinformation in 2016 from CNN, MSDNC, NYTimes and the rest. Why should 2020 be any different.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 12:52pm

    Poca

    Hey look, there is one candidate who wants to make it a crime. None of the regular TD leftists will speak out against it tho.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/29/warren-plan-election-disinformation-2020-108854

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jan 2020 @ 4:05pm

      Her plan isn’t horrible, but it also ignores the broader issue: People, not platforms, are responsible for disinformation. Telling Facebook to label disinformation accounts won’t stop the people who make/run those accounts from doing what they do. Human nature is the disease; the platforms used to spread disinformation are only a symptom.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 3:57am

        Re:

        Right.. Guns don't kill people, people kill people

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 5:39am

          Re: Re:

          People who want to kill people will find a way to do it, AC.

          I agree we shouldn't make it easy for them to do so.

          That said, speech is a different thing to guns and should be addressed in a different way. Fun fact: if we did more to address our social problems it'd not only reduce the fake news problem it'd also reduce the gun violence problem.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 10:38am

        Re:

        So politicians can lie with the big lie just being a tool. Cops can lie as an actual job description, but no one else, right? Good luck with that.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 12:59pm

          They can lie. That doesn’t mean they should lie or that society should accept that they can lie.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 3:42pm

            Re:

            Hypothetical: Enough of American society decides to elect Warren and she puts her plan to combat election disinformation with civil and criminal penalties into action. Society accepts that politicians and authority figures shouldn’t be able to lie on social media and takes action to elect an official that will put rules and legislation in place to regulate social media so that politicians can’t use it to lie.

            Would this be acceptable to you, Stephen?

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 4:06pm

              Yes, it would be nice if politicians couldn’t lie on social media. Rules to prevent that would certainly seem like a good idea.

              But I raise here the same question I raised below: At what point would such rules cross the line from “stopping disinformation” to “censoring speech”? And how could these proposed rules be written to prevent that line from being crossed?

              I am instantly wary of any proposal that would punish speech, even if I disagree with that speech. How I feel about the candidate pushing that proposal shouldn’t (and in this case, doesn’t) affect how I feel about that proposal. Warren would need to prove how her proposal wouldn’t infringe upon free speech rights before I would ever think the proposal isn’t bullshit.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 8:26pm

                Re:

                They are just fed up with everyone saying how fucked up they all are.. "There should be a law."

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              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 11:03am

                Re:

                But I raise here the same question I raised below: At what point would such rules cross the line from “stopping disinformation” to “censoring speech”? And how could these proposed rules be written to prevent that line from being crossed?

                Nonsense, I mean it's not like there's ever been or ever will be a politician who routinely flagged any news they didn't like as 'fake news', and therefore would jump at the chance to declare that anything that didn't suit them was 'disinformation' deserving of being removed or else if such a system was in place.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 11:19am

                  Dammit, TOG, include a sarc mark of some kind next time. I almost mistook you for one of the usual trolls~.

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                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 12:09pm

                    Re:

                    I figured it was implied, but poe's law strikes again I suppose, hard for something to be clearly sarcastic at times when there are people making the same arguments straight-faced.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 3:28pm

        Re:

        Alright, so we should strive to solve the impossible problem of human nature before we take a look at platforms. Platforms whose business models treasure engagement above all else and wind up amplifying the worst of human nature as a result.

        This is a situation where treating the symptoms will greatly diminish the harm that the incurable “disease” creates.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 3:38pm

          How far can/should the government go in telling Facebook, Twitter, etc. what legally protected speech it can or can’t host, and what speech should or shouldn’t be labelled with warnings? At what point does such intervention cross the line from “stopping or impeding disinformation campaigns” to “censoring legal speech that the government doesn’t like”?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 4:19pm

            Re:

            Why should spreading election disinformation be legally protected in the first place? What is it that makes you such an ardent defender of the right for politicians and others to tell lies?

            Last summer, Wendy Cockcroft wrote a comment on the follies of speech-counterspeech and the right to tell lies and how she finds it disturbing. I agree with her sentiments. She talks about “knee-jerk” legislation, which I’m sure is what you would personally call Warren’s proposed plans, but I would disagree; In my opinion, Warren’s framework is far better than the gutting of Section 230 that other legislators want to see happen and are trying to make happen right now. And it’s definitely better than the Silicon-Valley Tech Bro bullshit solution that is sitting in a room and playing some cockamamie scenario-building simulation game.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 4:38pm

              What is it that makes you such an ardent defender of the right for politicians and others to tell lies?

              As much as I abhor politicians who lie, forcing them to tell the truth by way of legal dictate — “don’t say this or you’ll go to jail or be fined” — doesn’t strike me as a good solution to the issue. And if we give the government that kind of power, we give the government a foot in the door to censoring other kinds of speech. Sure, maybe a Warren-led government might ban speech with which I disagree from being posted on social media, but what happens when a different president uses this power to ban speech they disagree with (and I might be posting)?

              Much like Popehat’s warning about “it’s for the children” justifications, I have a similar rule: If you react with immediate suspicion to anyone who proposes laws that will curb certain kinds of speech, you will be right more often than not. I’m all for Facebook, Twitter, etc. adopting rules that will help limit disinformation and political lies. But I will not support any proposal that would write such rules for speech into law — and I will question my support, if I had any to begin with, for any politician who does.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2020 @ 5:19am

              Re: Re:

              Politicians will make sure that no law inhibits their ability to lie, but only inhibits the ability of those outside the parties to criticise them, or publish tales of their misdeeds. (They already have full immunity from consequences for anything that they say in debate in congress).

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 6:00pm

      Re: Poca

      https://www.techdirt.com/submitstory.php

      Here you go fuckface. Enjoy.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 7:02pm

        Re: Re: Poca

        you're a fucking asshole.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 8:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: Poca

          Thank you for stating the extremely obvious bro. Next time don’t start shit, if you don’t want shit, because you ain’t shit.

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 3:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Poca

            He wasn't even the OP, but you really are an asshole. Still upset because the bad orange man won or is it just from always having to take it from behind and never getting to give it. You have so much anger and so little intelligence.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 7:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poca

              Shiva Ayyadurai still didn't invent email, Hamilton.

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

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 11:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poca

                This is Stone. He isn't signing in now. So this is his alter ego having fun getting so nasty?

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Jan 2020 @ 3:40pm

                  Oh please, I don’t need to sign out to be “nasty”. (And if you think saying “Shiva Ayyadurai didn’t invent email” is nasty…hoo boy, Hamilton, your skin is so thin that we’d need a high-powered microscope to see it.)

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 5:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poca

                  What’s actually been kinda sad hamiltron is watching your mental health deteriorate to the point where it’s hard to distinguish you from someone who has taken English as a second or third language.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 5:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poca

              You really do have an anal sex fetish bro. Must be hard on you living so far in the closet your zip code is in Narnia. Now piss off before I decide to actually turn my attention on you.

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

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 8:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poca

                Sounds like you are writing about yourself and you probably just got Stone's attention and Rosy Palmer..

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 2:00pm

    Results?

    I would love to hear the best, worst, and weirdest ideas of said game.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 30 Jan 2020 @ 2:39pm

    Well that really depends.

    Did your software detect the obvious fake Russia hoax we now know was fabricated bullshit? Because it was freaking obvious? Did all available information, like the Podesta Emails get analyzed? Because if not, it was an exercise in media friendly fiction.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 2:45pm

      Re: Well that really depends.

      Not fiction, just hotter than hell.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jan 2020 @ 4:06pm

      the obvious fake Russia hoax we now know was fabricated bullshit

      Yes, yes, we know you kiss Trump’s ass so much that your lips look like they have a permanent orange stain. Clean yourself up, for God’s sake.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 4:53pm

        Re:

        I... don't think those stains are going to be orange.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 8:20pm

          Re: Re:

          Funny I tought your permanent stains were Rosy colored!

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2020 @ 1:18pm

            We get it, I used an insult against you once and you felt a compulsion to use it back, only you don’t know how to use it properly so you make yourself look like a fool every time you try. Do something else for a change, Hamilton.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 2:41am

        The whole "Russia Thing" started when the DNC and Podesta emails came out. It was a way in which Clinton and the Democratic party could deflect from the contents of the emails (which showed primary election rigging and fraud). It also created a link between WikiLeaks/Assange and Russia in peoples' minds.

        Then when they lost to Trump it was a way to deflect their own complete failure to beat Trump.

        The Mueller investigation charged no US citizens with collusion.

        Yes, the IRA run a bunch of infantile ads. But, if you want to look for election influence, ask Chomsky: Israel.

        And, Trump has been doing many things that Russia is deeply annoyed by; increased sanctions, attempted coups in Venezuala, funding/training insurgents in Syria, assassinating an Iranian general etc..

        The whole "Russia" narrative is rubbish. Yes, they try to influence elections, but far less that the US does elsewhere. Meanwhile the US has taken very little steps to secure its elections and still allows infinite amounts of money to be funneled to candidates via super PACs. It is the wealthy that are "influencing" the elections far more than any other country.

        As Aaron Schwartz (RIP) said to Lawrence Lessig: you cant fix anything until you fix the campaign finance laws. Lessig knows this to be true. That's why he ran in 2016 in this one single issue.

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 31 Jan 2020 @ 8:09am

          Re:

          The whole "Russia Thing" started when the DNC and Podesta emails came out. It was a way in which Clinton and the Democratic party could deflect from the contents of the emails (which showed primary election rigging and fraud). It also created a link between WikiLeaks/Assange and Russia in peoples' minds.

          In what world does that make logical sense?

          It's an established fact that investigation into the Russian thing started in 2013 with Carter Page which means your scenario can't be true since the hack against the DNC was done in 2016.

          If the emails contained any evidence of election rigging/fraud, don't you think those doing it would have been prosecuted and sentenced to prison?

          The funny thing is that all through this we have multiple contacts between people working on Trumps campaign and Russians nationals, and by your reasoning you implies it's because DNC needed an excuse for their shoddy information security (because that's the only twisted logic that fits)?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 5:34pm

          Re:

          Well Ivan at yeast you speak English better than some of the USA born nutters here.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2020 @ 5:59pm

      Re: Well that really depends.

      Do you get paid to spend bullshit propaganda, or are you a useful idiot for free?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2020 @ 3:56am

        Re: Re: Well that really depends.

        Yeah it's bullshit because a roomful of Russian trolls posting on Facebook were more effective than Hillarys 900 million dollar advertising budget.

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


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