Quantcast
Connect with us

Pro-Trump student group building a secret ‘troll farm’ designed to get around social media moderation: report

Published

on

President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the 2019 Teen Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported on a stealth “troll farm” by Turning Point USA, the right-wing youth group led up by Charlie Kirk, to recruit teenagers to post disinformation on social media — sometimes getting around policies that sites like Facebook and Twitter use to prevent the spread of false political information.

“Teenagers, some of them minors, are being paid to pump out the messages at the direction of Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA, the prominent conservative youth organization based in Phoenix, according to four people with independent knowledge of the effort,” reported Isaac Stanley-Becker. “Their descriptions were confirmed by detailed notes from relatives of one of the teenagers who recorded conversations with him about the efforts.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The campaign draws on the spam-like behavior of bots and trolls, with the same or similar language posted repeatedly across social media,” continued the report. “But it is carried out, at least in part, by humans paid to use their own accounts, though nowhere disclosing their relationship with Turning Point Action or the digital firm brought in to oversee the day-to-day activity. One user included a link to Turning Point USA’s website in his Twitter profile until The Washington Post began asking questions about the activity.”

Among the claims spread by the teenagers en masse was a tweet warning “don’t trust Dr. Fauci” on the coronavirus case statistics, and a Facebook post baselessly saying expansion of mail-in voting “will lead to fraud for this election.”

To prevent the posts from being flagged as spam, they were “parceled out in precise increments as directed by the effort’s leaders,” and in accordance with the guidelines of an online document, they “posted the same lines a limited number of times to avoid automated detection by the technology companies” and “were instructed to edit the beginning and ending of each snippet to differentiate the posts slightly, according to the notes from the recorded conversation with a participant.”

TPUSA has pushed back on the report, calling the depiction of the effort as a troll farm a “gross mischaracterization.” However, in response to the story, Facebook and Twitter have removed or opened investigations into a number of accounts involved in the operation.

You can read more here.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Medical expert doubts Trump’s claim every America will have a COVID vaccine by April: ‘I don’t see how that’s possible’

Published

on

Speaking on CNN this Friday, professor of tropical medicine, Dr. Peter Hotez, pushed back on President Trump's claim that every American will have access to a coronavirus vaccine by April.

According to Hotez, there's "just too many unknowns right now" for Trump or any other administration official "to make such a statement.

Even if the vaccines currently in development work, "we don't have the details on the distribution," he added.

"There's going to be a lot of unknown questions," he continued. "We have to really take it in stages."

Watch the video below:

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Shocking emails document Trump administration’s scheme to muzzle the CDC — and misinform Americans

Published

on

Emails obtained by The New York Times detail how Trump administration political appointees sought to silence the Centers for Disease Control during the coronavirus pandemic.

"On June 30, as the coronavirus was cresting toward its summer peak, Dr. Paul Alexander, a new science adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services, composed a scathing two-page critique of an interview given by a revered scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the newspaper reported. "Dr. Anne Schuchat, a 32-year veteran of the C.D.C. and its principal deputy director, had appealed to Americans to wear masks and warned, 'We have way too much virus across the country.' But Dr. Alexander, a part-time assistant professor of health research methods, appeared sure he understood the coronavirus better."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘That is not true’: MSNBC cuts away from Trump’s press briefing after he claims Biden is anti-vaccine

Published

on

During a press briefing at the White House this Friday, President Trump touted the coronavirus vaccine currently in development, preemptively calling it “successful” and saying that it will save “millions of lives.”

While making his comments, Trump took a dig at Joe Biden, claiming he espouses "anti-vaccine theories" and he's "putting a lot of lives at risk" for "political reasons."

Trump's words prompted MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin to cut away from the briefing and issue a fact check.

"Obviously there's no evidence of that -- that is not true," Mohyeldin said.

Watch the video below:

Continue Reading