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  1. #691

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Facebook says a pro-Trump media outlet used artificial intelligence to create fake people and push conspiracies
    Facebook took down more than 600 accounts tied to The Epoch Times, a media outlet that has spent heavily on digital ads to push pro-Trump conspiracy theories.

    Dec. 20, 2019, 2:50 PM EST
    By Ben Collins

    Facebook took down more than 600 accounts tied to the pro-Trump conspiracy website The Epoch Times for using identities created by artificial intelligence to push stories about a variety of topics including impeachment and elections.

    The network was called “The BL” and was run by Vietnamese users posing as Americans, using fake photos generated by algorithms to simulate real identities. The Epoch Media group, which pushes a variety of pro-Trump conspiracy theories, spent $9.5 million on ads to spread content through the now-suspended pages and groups.

    “What’s new here is that this is purportedly a U.S.-based media company leveraging foreign actors posing as Americans to push political content. We’ve seen it a lot with state actors in the past,” Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleiche, said in an interview.

    The network had over 55 million followers on Facebook, almost double the following of Kim Kardashian West.

    The accounts pushed anti-impeachment and pro-Trump messages while otherwise posing as everyday Americans. Sometimes the accounts featured obvious errors. One moderator of a popular “BL” page was named “Ellen Dancey,” but featured an AI-generated face of a man. Dancey’s sole post to his profile page read “Hello, wellcom to my face book.”

    Gleicher said using the AI-generated faces was more likely to get the bad actors caught than to help mask their identities.

    “We detected these accounts because they were engaged in fake behavior. Using AI generated profiles as a way to make themselves look more real doesn’t actually help them,” Gleicher said, adding the fake profiles were more likely to trip automatic sensors of fake accounts. “The biggest takeaway here is the egregiousness of the network in using fake identities.”


    The Epoch Media group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The network of fake pages included 89 pages, 156 groups and 72 Instagram accounts. Epoch Media Group, which runs The Epoch Times, is run by practitioners of Falun Gong, who believe the world is soon headed for a judgment day, where all those labeled as Communists will be sent to hell. One former Epoch Times editor told NBC News in August that practitioners “believe that Trump was sent by heaven to destroy the Communist Party.”

    The Epoch Times was the largest buyer of pro-Trump ads on Facebook until August. The company was banned from purchasing ads on Facebook after it repeatedly violated the company’s political advertising rules.

    The Epoch Times has developed advocates in and around the Trump administration. President Donald Trump’s official Facebook page has posted their stories at least a half-dozen times this year. Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, conducted a 40-minute interview in Trump Tower with The Epoch Times in May.

    The Epoch Times’ official Facebook pages are still active and “verified” on Facebook, with more than 10 million combined followers. The Epoch Times remains one of the largest political ad spenders on YouTube, which is owned by Google.

    The fact-checking site Snopes first revealed The BL’s network in October. Facebook did not credit Snopes for its work in a press release announcing the takedown.

    “Every piece of open source reporting is valuable,” Gleicher told NBC News. “We’ve got to take the time to find the whole network.”

    Snopes left Facebook’s fact-checking program in February. Snopes’ vice president of operations, Vinny Green, said at the time that “it doesn’t seem like we’re striving to make third-party fact-checking more practical for publishers — it seems like we’re striving to make it easier for Facebook.”

    Green told NBC News that Snopes alerted Facebook to the BL’s network several times since October, but did not receive a response.

    "Facebook continues it efforts to gaslight the media and its users into thinking it's serious about addressing inauthenticity and fraud on its platform,” Green said. “We first reported on this network in October, and continue to do so throughout the remainder of the year at great expense to our organization.”

    “The idea that Snopes could go from trusted partner to persona non grata, and have our emails ignored hundreds of times while we report troubling behavior on their platform is abhorrent and is a demonstration of their utter contempt for the independent press,” Green said.


    https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-ne...m_npd_nn_tw_ma
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  2. #692

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Ben Wikler @benwikler
    BREAKING: A Trump advisor told the WI GOP that “Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places”—& "It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program" in 2020.



    These quotes come from audio of an event at a WI country club where a Trump advisor briefed influential Rs on strategy. Trump is personally on board: "He’s committed to this, he believes in it and he will do whatever it takes to make sure it’s successful.”

    https://apnews.com/af2f0ede054d8baebbe1bb6ca47b4895

    Rs have been blocked from so-called "poll monitoring" since 1982, after a "federal lawsuit claimed the RNC and the state GOP had off-duty police stand at polling places in urban areas wearing armbands that read 'National Ballot Security Task Force,' with guns visible on some."

    but last year, a judge lifted the consent decree that blocked the RNC from intimidating voters. So now they're back in business. And as we learned today, it's explicitly a core strategy for their victory.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...-decree-328995

    Trump and the GOP's plan to suppress Democratic votes in 2020 is a direct threat to democracy, and should be condemned by anyone who believes in the Constitution.

    (...)

    Right now, the key thing to understand is this: the mask is off. Trump's strategy for re-election is suppressing the vote. Republican concerns about "voter fraud" are a sham—a smokescreen for blocking out legit voters. The GOP knows they can't win a fair fight. So they cheat.

    Here’s the actual audio. First you heat WI State Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald, who is running for Congress. Then Justin Clark from the Trump campaign. Lots of rustling and noise. But worth a listen.



    Chris Hayes @chrislhayes

    Replying to
    @benwikler
    I’m confused by the second part. It seems like he’s saying traditionally we would suppress, but we’re gonna now do our voter registration and mobilization? The first part is an extremely damning admission either way!

    Ari Berman @AriBerman

    I think what he’s referring to is doing more aggressive poll watching now that RNC no longer bound by consent decree. That’s how I read article & remarks

    Curses and Coffee @mzbitca

    Yeah plus his comments on fraud and the presidents concern read like it means aggressive poll watching or, more likely, voter intimidation in practice
    Derek Kerton @derekkerton

    I took the second part to mean that they would facilitate R votes, like with more polling places, longer hours, gotv, help with absentee and mail-in ballots.

    Oh, yeah, and some fraud.
    (ŕ la NC)
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  3. #693

    Re: The Run to the WH

    There have now been several instances where high-ranking Republicans have been caught openly admitting that they see voter suppression as an important part of their election strategy. I find that depressing. It is so hard for me to deal with the fact that this is where our country has gone.

    GH

  4. #694

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Wine caves?

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  5. #695

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Steadman™
    @AsteadWesley
    WARREN puts out statement on Sanders meeting and goes on record saying he said a woman could not win. Full statement:

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  6. #696
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    Re: The Run to the WH

    Um, a woman DID win (the popular vote)...
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  7. #697
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    Re: The Run to the WH

    Alternate post: This will in no way endear the Bernie Bros to Warren. Not that she ever had a chance with them anyway.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  8. #698

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    Um, a woman DID win (the popular vote)...
    Yes. But that was the issue. She won because she ran away with the vote in CA and NY and other liberal places. But in all those other third-world states (I believe you live in one) she lost, mostly because she was painted as some Jezebel that wanted to force abortions on every woman in the nation.
    Until you can get rid of all the gerrymandering and voting suppression in your system, you have to play it safe. You cannot scare the 60 year old Joe's and Mary Sue's of your electorate.
    I don't agree with Bernie. I believe a woman can win. But I also believe that there are lots of people in the USA that will vote for a perverted male psychopath over a decent woman, always. And in your system, where just a few votes here and there can sway an election, it may be crucial. And it was.
    Missing winter...

  9. #699

    Re: The Run to the WH

    I just looked at Trump's approval numbers by state. Unless I missed something, Wyoming has the highest approval. In Wyoming, 62% approve of him, compared to 34% who disapprove. My comment about this....most of Wyoming is probably close to 100% approval, since Laramie and Jackson County have very high disapproval numbers.

    Anyway, a question I would love someone to answer: Given what all he has done to this point, what further bad thing would Trump have to do for him to lose Wyoming in the election of 2020? In other words, what bad thing would be bad enough? I'd love to hear ideas on what it would take.

  10. #700

    Re: The Run to the WH

    He can't do anything else and he knows it. His 38% is as solid as it can be. Those people will vote for him even if he, as he said, were to shoot somebody in broad daylight.
    When the Senate "thing" ends, and he is acquitted, all the GOP will say he was innocent. So only the very sliver of people in the USA that actually think before they vote will be affected by the result.
    I say the election is set already. The only thing that may affect him is some economic catastrophe, and that is not in the horizon. And with Russia on his side, he will most likely be elected.
    Sorry.
    Missing winter...

  11. #701

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Matt Viser
    @mviser

    Biden fundraising off the social security attacks from Sanders. “I’m disappointed,” he writes. "I thought we all knew this election was too important to attack other Democrats"

    “With just 15 days until the Iowa Caucuses, these types of smears could be devastating to our chances"

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





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