advertisement
Forums

 

AAPL stock: $156.07 ( -2.66 )

*Cached every 60 seconds. For live updating, Click Here

You are currently viewing the 'Friendly' Political Ranting forum
The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 06, 2017 03:54PM
Quote

In May, Time Magazine reported that U.S. intelligence officials had discovered evidence that Russian agents had purchased ads on Facebook to target specific populations with propaganda. A Facebook spokesman told the magazine that the company had no evidence of such buys.

They do now:

Quote

Facebook officials reported that they traced ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said.

A small portion of the ads, which began in the summer of 2015, directly named Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the people said. Most of the ads focused on pumping politically divisive issues such as gun rights and immigration fears, as well as gay rights and racial discrimination.

Huh. Why oh why would Russia care about gun rights and immigration fears in the US? And why did their interest start in the summer of 2015?

I just can't imagine what they were trying to do...
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: September 06, 2017 04:29PM
How much Facebook advertising can you get for $100K? Would it be enough to influence an election? I've tried to understand their system (they auction ad space?) but I truly don't.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 06, 2017 04:41PM
3,300 ads, apparently. This stuff is hard to track down to the original buyer, so this may or may not be the extent of it. And as the original linked article points out, these ads were targeted to specific recipients and local voter demographics. How did the Russians know who to target - that's the big question.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 06, 2017 07:28PM
Quote
pdq
.. How did the Russians know who to target, without Kushner's "stealth data machine," that's the big question.

Figured yours was a rhetorical question, but still.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 07, 2017 09:01AM
Quote
pdq
.. And as the original linked article points out, these ads were targeted to specific recipients and local voter demographics. How did the Russians know who to target - that's the big question.
Because that information is easy to get for pretty much anyone. We're not talking 'hacking", we're talking just paying a few bitcoins.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 07, 2017 12:50PM
Quote
cbelt3
Quote
pdq
.. And as the original linked article points out, these ads were targeted to specific recipients and local voter demographics. How did the Russians know who to target - that's the big question.
Because that information is easy to get for pretty much anyone. We're not talking 'hacking", we're talking just paying a few bitcoins.

Srsly?

Suppose you set out to swing an election in, say, England. Who would you target? How would you get such information?

Suppose instead of England it was Kazakhstan. You think you could do so without the assistance of someone in or around Kazakhstan?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: September 07, 2017 01:45PM
Quote
pdq
Quote
cbelt3
Quote
pdq
.. And as the original linked article points out, these ads were targeted to specific recipients and local voter demographics. How did the Russians know who to target - that's the big question.
Because that information is easy to get for pretty much anyone. We're not talking 'hacking", we're talking just paying a few bitcoins.

Srsly?

Suppose you set out to swing an election in, say, England. Who would you target? How would you get such information?

Suppose instead of England it was Kazakhstan. You think you could do so without the assistance of someone in or around Kazakhstan?

You're assuming two things:
1. It was an attempt to "swing" an election
2. Demographic data isn't broadly available

1. Consider instead that it was merely an attempt to disrupt the process, inject uncertainty and create turmoil as much as possible; any degree of success would be considered advantageous to Putin's aspirations.

2. With easily obtainable demographic-based mailing (and emailing) lists, various subgroups of voters could be deftly targeted; just consider the targeted junk mail you likely receive yourself.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 07, 2017 01:49PM
Some more from the NYT:

Quote

The Fake Americans Russia Created to Influence the Election

[Last year], Melvin Redick of Harrisburg, Pa., a friendly-looking American with a backward baseball cap and a young daughter, posted on Facebook a link to a brand-new website.

“These guys show hidden truth about Hillary Clinton, George Soros and other leaders of the US,” he wrote on June 8, 2016. “Visit #DCLeaks website. It’s really interesting!”

Mr. Redick turned out to be a remarkably elusive character. No Melvin Redick appears in Pennsylvania records, and his photos seem to be borrowed from an unsuspecting Brazilian...

On Wednesday, Facebook officials disclosed that they had shut down several hundred accounts that they believe were created by a Russian company linked to the Kremlin...On Twitter...Russian fingerprints are on hundreds or thousands of fake accounts that regularly posted anti-Clinton messages. Many were automated Twitter accounts, called bots, that sometimes fired off identical messages seconds apart — and in the exact alphabetical order of their made-up names, according to the FireEye researchers.

This really, really happened, folks. Did it matter? Well, as the NYT piece says:

Quote

“Yes, the Russians were involved. Yes, there’s a lot of organic support for Trump,” said Andrew Weisburd, an Illinois online researcher who has written frequently about Russian influence on social media. “Trying to disaggregate the two was difficult, to put it mildly.”

But if we ignore this, we simply invite more and worse next time.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 07, 2017 02:40PM
Business Insider link, so grab your grain of salt, but:

Quote

The vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said Thursday that the purchase of $100,000 worth of Facebook ads from Russian-linked accounts during the 2016 election was only "the tip of the iceberg."

...Warner said Thursday "...what really concerns me is that there were upwards of 1,000 paid internet trolls working out of Russia taking over computers, making botnets, and generating news down to specific areas."

Again, "specific areas", implying either a high level of voter demographic sophistication, or assistance from someone over here.

I wouldn't be surprised if these are just the ones that slipped up and were thus trackable. Warner would like to take a closer look at Facebook's data than Facebook is probably comfortable with.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 07, 2017 05:17PM
Golden showers.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: The Russians secretly bought and pushed political ads on Facebook
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 08, 2017 01:26PM
A nice summary of the Russian-Trump campaign nexus, so far:

Quote

We now know the motives...Russia’s oligarchical class sought...to reverse sanctions... In seeking Russian support, Trump sought not only to become president but also...he hoped to receive a major influx of money from a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow.

...We know the methods. Professional Russian Internet trolls, probably operating out of St. Petersburg, set up hundreds of fake Facebook and Twitter accounts during the election campaign. The trolls then posted thousands of fake stories, memes and slogans, supported anti-Clinton hashtags and narratives, and linked back to DCLeaks, the website that posted emails that Russian hackers stole from the Clinton campaign.

...The fake stories, memes and slogans moved from the network of Russian-sponsored “American” accounts into the networks of real Americans. [These stories] were not only promoted on the fake Russian network, which bought advertising in order to push them further, but also were promoted on open Russian news networks...Afterwards, they were repeated, also openly, by candidate Trump.

Now here is a piece of the story that we don’t know: How did the Russians behind the fake “American” accounts know which real Americans would be most excited to read conspiracy theories on Facebook?...[and] How did Trump happen to use the same conspiracy theories that were proliferating on Russian media, both real and fake?

Sheer coincidence? Innocent political opportunism? It's the last missing link.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 272
Record Number of Users: 52 on November 20, 2014
Record Number of Guests: 847 on February 04, 2015