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#41 Rick

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 1047 AM

 

 
Information warfare began in Genesis, chapter three. Still going on today.


Adam and Eve were squatting paradise and somehow god Satan had to engineer an intrigue to kick them out. ;)
 

Fixed it for you.


Edited by Rick, 10 March 2016 - 1048 AM.

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#42 bojan

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 2016 PM

That was a first conspiracy theory as well, all know God blamed Satan (who at one time worked for God - see?), while secretly he created snake to tempt Eve... :D


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#43 BansheeOne

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 1210 PM

There was an interesting article on Russian IW in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine" today. A short online version is here; the print original is a bit long to translate in full, but some new points are in the following excerpts.

 

Russia's Secret Campaign Against the West

 

Unrest, untruth, fear: Ever stranger is the picture which Russian media are painting of Germany. Security circles are sure: It is a targeted propaganda campaign.

 

Eckart Lohse, Reinhard Veser, Markus Wehner and Matthias Wyssuwa reporting

 

BERLIN, 10 March

 

Next Thursday, things will be lively once again in Room 4.900 of the Paul Löbe House north of the Reichstag. From 1130 hours on, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be questioned before the NSA investigative committee in the European Chamber of the Bundestag. The body was established almost two years ago, because former staffer of the American intelligence service NSA Edward Snowden stole large amounts of internal data. Those attest that the curiosity of the American spies does not stop before their own allies. When the number of a mobile phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged in the purloined documents, crititicism of at least the opposition in Germany concentrated on one intelligence service: the American National Security Agency.

 

That Russian intelligence is highly active in Europe and in Germany, too, under the screen of this public excitement, that its staffers are not just eavesdropping, but directing considerable energies into propaganda work, meanwhile remains largely occluded. Only gradually, as the excitement about the so-called NSA scandal subsides somewhat, is Moscow moving more into sight. And the role of Edward Snowden, who after a venturesome flight via Hong Kong eventually ended up in the Russian capital. There he has been living ever since. There have long been allegations that Russian intelligence is getting its use out of Snowden.

 

In German security circles it is even considered certain by now that the former NSA man is handled like a collaborator by Russian intelligence. Russian President Vladimir Putin had only agreed to asylum for Snowden under the condition that no critical information on operations of Russian or also Chinese intelligence services from the documents provided by him became public knowledge. It is so far not known whether there are such. But - so it can be heard in parliamentary circles in Berlin - it was really highly unusual that very much was revealed about the unlimited curiosity of the American spies, nothing however about the activities of Moscow.

 

The chairman of the NSA committee, CDU politician Patrick Sensburg, says that quite openly. "In the documents of the NSA which Snowden purloined should be a lot about Russia, China or North Korea.  There are only reports about the United States and their European allies - and this in a way that their relationships are being compromised." He was asking himself why Snowden had travelled to Hong Kong and there made "intensive" contact with the Russian embassy. Sensburg goes even further and alleges that Moscow approached Snowden years befor the latter's flight already. "Possibly Russian foreign intelligence made contact with Snowden in Geneva already." Snowden had been sent to Switzerland in the year 2007. Back then he was working for the CIA.

 

Of course there is the opposite view in Berlin, too. Foremost it is espoused by Green deputy Hans-Christian Ströbele, who undertook a spectacular trip to Moscow in 2013 to visit Snowden. Ströbele refutes the thesis that the former NSA staffer lets himself being instrumentalized by Russian intelligence. The Green, who looks very critical not only at the work of the NSA, but also of the German intelligence services, is campaigning for Snowden to get the Peace Nobel.

 

Snowden may have been a case of unexpected luck for the Russian leadership, but his instrumentalization would fit well into an overall concept. In the view of German security circles, the most important aim is quite clear: the weakening of Europe. In different ways and channels, the Russian leadership tries to promote sentiments and political forces in Europe which are directed against the European Union and Euro-Atlantic partnership in this. For this, the Russian intelligence services are specifically looking for weaknesses in the various countries of Europe which make them vulnerable for manipulation: This may be severe tensions in the political leadership of a country, right-wing populist or right-wing extremist parties, protest sentiment or historically-founded ressentiment which are widespread inside a society.

 

German security circles have knowledge of a list produced for the Kremlin in which EU states are ranked by the extent of their vulnerability. On this list, which is assumed to be about one year old and thus originated from the time before the escalation of the refugee crisis, Great Britain, Denmark and Estonia are considered to be practically immune to Russian propaganda and influence. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria on the other hand are to be most succeptible to this within the EU. Germany is taking a place in mid-field on this list.

 

[...]

 

Possibly people in Moscow have come to the conclusion in view of the refugee crisis that Germany is more vulnerable by now, too. At any rate, the British newspaper "The Guardian" last week quoted the director of the NATO center in Riga, Janis Sarts, with the statement that there was proof for Russia agitating in Germany against Chancellor Merkel. This was supposedly less about toppling the chancellor now rather than a test "whether they can create conditions in such a big country, which is not very vulnerable in normal times, which result in a change of leadership."

 

The Russian propagandists can be very flexible. One propaganda tactic is to spread so many contradictory rumors until hardly anybody can disentangle lie and truth; it is mostly used when it is about deflecting a suspicion from Russia - as in the case of the Malaysian passenger aircraft allegedly shot down by pro-Russian fighters over Eastern Ukraine. Another approach is to stick as close to the truth as possible - only to then put a different spin on it. A lie is best hidden between two truths. The refugee crisis seems to provide particularly promising material for this in Moscow's view. From the fabric of this drama, narratives which fit the aims of Russian propaganda well are easily spun. These stories work to the inside and the outside. For weeks Russian media have been painting a picture of an unsafe Germany, shaken and endangered by refugees. Russia conversely looks like the last bastion of reason.

 

A current example how a whole different story is made out of an actual occurrence: After the Schleswig-Holstein CDU moved to not delete pork from the menus of canteens, kindergardens and schools out of consideration for Muslims, this turned into news in Russia that there was a sausage ban in Germany. Russian media, newspapers, internet portals and TV stations reported that cafés and restaurants had begun to delete sausages from their range in Germany, so as not to offend Muslims. Some internet sites reported that restaurant owners had been forced to do this. There was the danger that beer was soon to be banned in Germany due to the Muslim refugees, too. Anybody who knows that in Russia sausages and beer are considered central elements of the German national character can imagine the effects of such news.

 

News like these are meant for internal consumption to make it clear to Russians how far it has come with the West, and how good they have it in Russia. The image of chaos in Germany created by the refugees has immediate effects on the German-Russian relations. So several scholarships of the German Academic Exchange Service for Russian students were returned on the grounds that the danger in Germany through refugees was too great, according to information of this newspaper. For some scholarship programs, less Russians were applying than in previous years.

 

[...]

 

That bit about the "sausage ban" is in fact a nice example of the mechanism we have previously discussed how propaganda gets laundered through Western media, to then be uncritically consumed by Western audiences. Just the day before yesterday, this was posted on another board I sometimes frequent, and believed by most residents without question:

 

GERMANY BANS SAUSAGES: Pork banned in cafes and schools to 'not offend refugees'

 
SCHOOLS and canteens in Germany have BANNED pork from their menus over fears of offending Muslim migrants, a top politician has revealed.
 
PUBLISHED: 04:55, Wed, Mar 9, 2016 | UPDATED: 09:34, Wed, Mar 9, 2016  

 

An increasing number of public canteens, child daycare centres and schools have stopped serving sausages, bacon and ham over religious considerations. 

 

Now members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party are fighting to keep pork on the menu, insisting the consumption of pork is part of German culture. 

 

Daniel Günther, party representative, claimed that pork products were being taken off the menu in schools, nurseries and canteens across the country. 

 

He said: "The protection of minorities - including for religious reasons - must not mean that the majority is overruled in their free decision by ill-conceived consideration.

   

Mr Günther argued that tolerance also means "the appreciation and sufferance of other food cultures and lifestyles”.

 

He argued that those who didn’t want to eat pork didn’t have to, adding: ”The consumption of pork belongs to our culture. 

 

“No one should be obliged to do so. But we also don't want the majority having to refrain from pork."

 

German sausages are part of the country’s culture. At Oktoberfest in Munich, the largest beer festival in the world - sausages are served alongside steins of beer. 

 

The move is likely to cause tensions among residents who support the introduction of restrictions on the inflow of refugees to the country.

 

[...]

 

http://www.express.c...Muslim-migrants

 

Note that the text simply reports the claim that pork is increasingly being taken off menus, then headlines this with "Germany bans sausages"; which is also a nice example of sticking somewhat to actual events (in this case the CDU motion), then giving it a whole new spin. Of course that particular article may not have been inspired by Russian reports; knowing the British press, they are completely capable of this on their own. :D

 

Anyway, while looking for an online version of the FAZ piece, I found a linked commentary on the same topic which I thought I should add. Translation again mine.

 

Putin Has the Right Message for Everyone

 

The Russian propaganda apparatus has been aiming at Germany with more force for some time. The aim of the disinformation is to unsettle society. This can be defended against. A guest contribution.

 

01/03/2016, by INGO MANNTEUFEL

 

Are you among the Germans who want to move to Crimea because the situation has become so difficult here? No? But you surely know somebody who is currently planning to do this. Not, either? That's strange. Because the official Russian government paper "Rossiyskaya gazeta" reported on its website in late January on this allegedly farspread emigration wish under the headline of "German Politician: More and More German Citizens Thinking About Emigration To Crimea".

 

Such nonsense could be disregarded with a smirk or just be taken for bad journalism.  But that would be wrong. Anybody occupying himself with Russian media arrives at a different conclusion: The Kremlin is using information as an instrument of aggressive foreign policy through the media controlled by it. "Hybrid warfare", it is called. The methods of this targeted disinformation and manipulation of public opinion were initially used in Russia to secure the power of President Vladimir Putin. In the conflict over Ukraine, the Russian propaganda reached a new level: Through distortions, semi-truths and complete fake stories, "the Ukrainians" are consisently being disparaged as "fascists".

 

Russian subject matter books are calling this "reflexive control"

 

For some time, Germany has moved into the crosshairs of disinformation - conceivably because Chancellor Angela Merkel has succeeded in keeping the EU united on the question of the European sanctions against Moscow. The likely calculation: Should Merkel fall over the refugee crisis and Germany be weakened in Europe, the front for the sanctions against Russia erodes.

 

Concepts for the manipulation of public opinion or psychological warfare have been existing for decades. But Russian analysts from military and intelligence intensively occupied themselves with the "information war" in the nineties. At the core it is about the targeted use of information to distort the perception of reality and create the desired reaction by the recipient of the disinformation: In Russian subject matter books, these techniques are termed "reflexive control".

 

The "information noise" and its effects

 

In Russia, "polit-technologists", as policy advisors and "spin doctors" are called there, are working along these lines. A whole set of methods and techniques has emerged, which are showing their greatest effect in the information space controled by the Kremlin: The intentionally produced distortion of reality perception has created a climate of fear and threat in broad parts of Russian society. The media image of a hostile West is contrasted with the ever-paternalistic and alternative-less President Putin. The high approval rates for Putin in Russia are to be seen in the context of this neo-imperial "fortress mentality", too. They evidence the success of propaganda and speak less for the actual support of the Russian president and his politics.

 

Outside Russia, the propaganda is aiming at reinforcing fears and destabilizing societies. An initial means to influence public opinion is the maximum increase of news, so that the recipients are overwhelmed in the face of a multitude of mostly unsubstantiated, scary and quite contradictory information: Loss of orientation and clarity are the results of this "information noise".

 

Hand in hand with right-wing populist information supplies

 

Besides the official media - inside Russia, the TV stations controled by the Kremlin, abroad, Russia Today and Sputnik - the Russian propaganda apparatus quite adeptly uses the internet for this. A relatively unknown information website or a blog are publishing some news, which are than repeated by more dubious websites. Then a bigger better-known Russian medium gets in and gets out the news with a a reference to the alleged "sources" on the net, which are now circulating socially acceptable in the media space. The question for the truth, for empirically validable facts, does not play a role.

 

The fake news of a girl allegedly abducted and raped by migrants in Berlin also originated from a dubious website on the net. Russian state TV then seized upon the story. Russian-Germans also saw this, who were then incited to demonstrations by concerted calls on Facebook and SMS. Additionally, the German-language subsidaries of Russian foreign media spread the fake news in Germany, where it created resonance on right-wing populist websites and in social media. Russian foreign media and German right-wing populist or right-wing radical information supplies are unmistakably working hand in hand in publications. By purposeful quoting, they are using each other as a supposedly plausible source.

 

To lend credibility to fake news

 

Another method to compensate for possibly crediblity deficits in news is an emotional and gripping "story telling". The cinematic implementation reminds of music video clips or action movies. In short: Russian propaganda products are exciting and easily digestible, because they do not (have to) care about journalistic differentiation and precision.

 

The official media and the "grey pro-Kremlin media" are only part of the Russian propaganda apparatus. The third level, working clandestinely, includes the production of fake news and internet memes, usually funny image or video files, which spread virally over social media. To lend credibility to fake news, even pseudo-news websites or Wikipedia pages are created - as happened very elaborately for example in September 2014 with an alleged explosion in a chemical plant in Centerville, Louisiana.

 

[...]


Edited by BansheeOne, 12 March 2016 - 0227 AM.

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#44 JasonJ

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 2201 PM

Spin or no spin, the picture needs to be posted.

 

german-culture-day-things-you-should-kno


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#45 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 0352 AM

 

There was an interesting article on Russian IW in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine" today. A short online version is here; the print original is a bit long to translate in full, but some new points are in the following excerpts.

 

Russia's Secret Campaign Against the West

 

Unrest, untruth, fear: Ever stranger is the picture which Russian media are painting of Germany. Security circles are sure: It is a targeted propaganda campaign.

 

Eckart Lohse, Reinhard Veser, Markus Wehner and Matthias Wyssuwa reporting

 

BERLIN, 10 March

 

Next Thursday, things will be lively once again in Room 4.900 of the Paul Löbe House north of the Reichstag. From 1130 hours on, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be questioned before the NSA investigative committee in the European Chamber of the Bundestag. The body was established almost two years ago, because former staffer of the American intelligence service NSA Edward Snowden stole large amounts of internal data. Those attest that the curiosity of the American spies does not stop before their own allies. When the number of a mobile phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged in the purloined documents, crititicism of at least the opposition in Germany concentrated on one intelligence service: the American National Security Agency.

 

That Russian intelligence is highly active in Europe and in Germany, too, under the screen of this public excitement, that its staffers are not just eavesdropping, but directing considerable energies into propaganda work, meanwhile remains largely occluded. Only gradually, as the excitement about the so-called NSA scandal subsides somewhat, is Moscow moving more into sight. And the role of Edward Snowden, who after a venturesome flight via Hong Kong eventually ended up in the Russian capital. There he has been living ever since. There have long been allegations that Russian intelligence is getting its use out of Snowden.

 

In German security circles it is even considered certain by now that the former NSA man is handled like a collaborator by Russian intelligence. Russian President Vladimir Putin had only agreed to asylum for Snowden under the condition that no critical information on operations of Russian or also Chinese intelligence services from the documents provided by him became public knowledge. It is so far not known whether there are such. But - so it can be heard in parliamentary circles in Berlin - it was really highly unusual that very much was revealed about the unlimited curiosity of the American spies, nothing however about the activities of Moscow.

 

The chairman of the NSA committee, CDU politician Patrick Sensburg, says that quite openly. "In the documents of the NSA which Snowden purloined should be a lot about Russia, China or North Korea.  There are only reports about the United States and their European allies - and this in a way that their relationships are being compromised." He was asking himself why Snowden had travelled to Hong Kong and there made "intensive" contact with the Russian embassy. Sensburg goes even further and alleges that Moscow approached Snowden years befor the latter's flight already. "Possibly Russian foreign intelligence made contact with Snowden in Geneva already." Snowden had been sent to Switzerland in the year 2007. Back then he was working for the CIA.

 

Of course there is the opposite view in Berlin, too. Foremost it is espoused by Green deputy Hans-Christian Ströbele, who undertook a spectacular trip to Moscow in 2013 to visit Snowden. Ströbele refutes the thesis that the former NSA staffer lets himself being instrumentalized by Russian intelligence. The Green, who looks very critical not only at the work of the NSA, but also of the German intelligence services, is campaigning for Snowden to get the Peace Nobel.

 

Snowden may have been a case of unexpected luck for the Russian leadership, but his instrumentalization would fit well into an overall concept. In the view of German security circles, the most important aim is quite clear: the weakening of Europe. In different ways and channels, the Russian leadership tries to promote sentiments and political forces in Europe which are directed against the European Union and Euro-Atlantic partnership in this. For this, the Russian intelligence services are specifically looking for weaknesses in the various countries of Europe which make them vulnerable for manipulation: This may be severe tensions in the political leadership of a country, right-wing populist or right-wing extremist parties, protest sentiment or historically-founded ressentiment which are widespread inside a society.

 

German security circles have knowledge of a list produced for the Kremlin in which EU states are ranked by the extent of their vulnerability. On this list, which is assumed to be about one year old and thus originated from the time before the escalation of the refugee crisis, Great Britain, Denmark and Estonia are considered to be practically immune to Russian propaganda and influence. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria on the other hand are to be most succeptible to this within the EU. Germany is taking a place in mid-field on this list.

 

[...]

 

Possibly people in Moscow have come to the conclusion in view of the refugee crisis that Germany is more vulnerable by now, too. At any rate, the British newspaper "The Guardian" last week quoted the director of the NATO center in Riga, Janis Sarts, with the statement that there was proof for Russia agitating in Germany against Chancellor Merkel. This was supposedly less about toppling the chancellor now rather than a test "whether they can create conditions in such a big country, which is not very vulnerable in normal times, which result in a change of leadership."

 

The Russian propagandists can be very flexible. One propaganda tactic is to spread so many contradictory rumors until hardly anybody can disentangle lie and truth; it is mostly used when it is about deflecting a suspicion from Russia - as in the case of the Malaysian passenger aircraft allegedly shot down by pro-Russian fighters over Eastern Ukraine. Another approach is to stick as close to the truth as possible - only to then put a different spin on it. A lie is best hidden between two truths. The refugee crisis seems to provide particularly promising material for this in Moscow's view. From the fabric of this drama, narratives which fit the aims of Russian propaganda well are easily spun. These stories work to the inside and the outside. For weeks Russian media have been painting a picture of an unsafe Germany, shaken and endangered by refugees. Russia conversely looks like the last bastion of reason.

 

A current example how a whole different story is made out of an actual occurrence: After the Schleswig-Holstein CDU moved to not delete pork from the menus of canteens, kindergardens and schools out of consideration for Muslims, this turned into news in Russia that there was a sausage ban in Germany. Russian media, newspapers, internet portals and TV stations reported that cafés and restaurants had begun to delete sausages from their range in Germany, so as not to offend Muslims. Some internet sites reported that restaurant owners had been forced to do this. There was the danger that beer was soon to be banned in Germany due to the Muslim refugees, too. Anybody who knows that in Russia sausages and beer are considered central elements of the German national character can imagine the effects of such news.

 

News like these are meant for internal consumption to make it clear to Russians how far it has come with the West, and how good they have it in Russia. The image of chaos in Germany created by the refugees has immediate effects on the German-Russian relations. So several scholarships of the German Academic Exchange Service for Russian students were returned on the grounds that the danger in Germany through refugees was too great, according to information of this newspaper. For some scholarship programs, less Russians were applying than in previous years.

 

[...]

 

That bit about the "sausage ban" is in fact a nice example of the mechanism we have previously discussed how propaganda gets laundered through Western media, to then be uncritically consumed by Western audiences. Just the day before yesterday, this was posted on another board I sometimes frequent, and believed by most residents without question:

 

GERMANY BANS SAUSAGES: Pork banned in cafes and schools to 'not offend refugees'

 
SCHOOLS and canteens in Germany have BANNED pork from their menus over fears of offending Muslim migrants, a top politician has revealed.
 
PUBLISHED: 04:55, Wed, Mar 9, 2016 | UPDATED: 09:34, Wed, Mar 9, 2016  

 

An increasing number of public canteens, child daycare centres and schools have stopped serving sausages, bacon and ham over religious considerations. 

 

Now members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party are fighting to keep pork on the menu, insisting the consumption of pork is part of German culture. 

 

Daniel Günther, party representative, claimed that pork products were being taken off the menu in schools, nurseries and canteens across the country. 

 

He said: "The protection of minorities - including for religious reasons - must not mean that the majority is overruled in their free decision by ill-conceived consideration.

   

Mr Günther argued that tolerance also means "the appreciation and sufferance of other food cultures and lifestyles”.

 

He argued that those who didn’t want to eat pork didn’t have to, adding: ”The consumption of pork belongs to our culture. 

 

“No one should be obliged to do so. But we also don't want the majority having to refrain from pork."

 

German sausages are part of the country’s culture. At Oktoberfest in Munich, the largest beer festival in the world - sausages are served alongside steins of beer. 

 

The move is likely to cause tensions among residents who support the introduction of restrictions on the inflow of refugees to the country.

 

[...]

 

http://www.express.c...Muslim-migrants

 

Note that the text simply reports the claim that pork is increasingly being taken off menus, then headlines this with "Germany bans sausages"; which is also a nice example of sticking somewhat to actual events (in this case the CDU motion), then giving it a whole new spin. Of course that particular article may not have been inspired by Russian reports; knowing the British press, they are completely capable of this on their own. :D

 

Anyway, while looking for an online version of the FAZ piece, I found a linked commentary on the same topic which I thought I should add. Translation again mine.

 

Putin Has the Right Message for Everyone

 

The Russian propaganda apparatus has been aiming at Germany with more force for some time. The aim of the disinformation is to unsettle society. This can be defended against. A guest contribution.

 

01/03/2016, by INGO MANNTEUFEL

 

Are you among the Germans who want to move to Crimea because the situation has become so difficult here? No? But you surely know somebody who is currently planning to do this. Not, either? That's strange. Because the official Russian government paper "Rossiyskaya gazeta" reported on its website in late January on this allegedly farspread emigration wish under the headline of "German Politician: More and More German Citizens Thinking About Emigration To Crimea".

 

Such nonsense could be disregarded with a smirk or just be taken for bad journalism.  But that would be wrong. Anybody occupying himself with Russian media arrives at a different conclusion: The Kremlin is using information as an instrument of aggressive foreign policy through the media controlled by it. "Hybrid warfare", it is called. The methods of this targeted disinformation and manipulation of public opinion were initially used in Russia to secure the power of President Vladimir Putin. In the conflict over Ukraine, the Russian propaganda reached a new level: Through distortions, semi-truths and complete fake stories, "the Ukrainians" are consisently being disparaged as "fascists".

 

Russian subject matter books are calling this "reflexive control"

 

For some time, Germany has moved into the crosshairs of disinformation - conceivably because Chancellor Angela Merkel has succeeded in keeping the EU united on the question of the European sanctions against Moscow. The likely calculation: Should Merkel fall over the refugee crisis and Germany be weakened in Europe, the front for the sanctions against Russia erodes.

 

Concepts for the manipulation of public opinion or psychological warfare have been existing for decades. But Russian analysts from military and intelligence intensively occupied themselves with the "information war" in the nineties. At the core it is about the targeted use of information to distort the perception of reality and create the desired reaction by the recipient of the disinformation: In Russian subject matter books, these techniques are termed "reflexive control".

 

The "information noise" and its effects

 

In Russia, "polit-technologists", as policy advisors and "spin doctors" are called there, are working along these lines. A whole set of methods and techniques has emerged, which are showing their greatest effect in the information space controled by the Kremlin: The intentionally produced distortion of reality perception has created a climate of fear and threat in broad parts of Russian society. The media image of a hostile West is contrasted with the ever-paternalistic and alternative-less President Putin. The high approval rates for Putin in Russia are to be seen in the context of this neo-imperial "fortress mentality", too. They evidence the success of propaganda and speak less for the actual support of the Russian president and his politics.

 

Outside Russia, the propaganda is aiming at reinforcing fears and destabilizing societies. An initial means to influence public opinion is the maximum increase of news, so that the recipients are overwhelmed in the face of a multitude of mostly unsubstantiated, scary and quite contradictory information: Loss of orientation and clarity are the results of this "information noise".

 

Hand in hand with right-wing populist information supplies

 

Besides the official media - inside Russia, the TV stations controled by the Kremlin, abroad, Russia Today and Sputnik - the Russian propaganda apparatus quite adeptly uses the internet for this. A relatively unknown information website or a blog are publishing some news, which are than repeated by more dubious websites. Then a bigger better-known Russian medium gets in and gets out the news with a a reference to the alleged "sources" on the net, which are now circulating socially acceptable in the media space. The question for the truth, for empirically validable facts, does not play a role.

 

The fake news of a girl allegedly abducted and raped by migrants in Berlin also originated from a dubious website on the net. Russian state TV then seized upon the story. Russian-Germans also saw this, who were then incited to demonstrations by concerted calls on Facebook and SMS. Additionally, the German-language subsidaries of Russian foreign media spread the fake news in Germany, where it created resonance on right-wing populist websites and in social media. Russian foreign media and German right-wing populist or right-wing radical information supplies are unmistakably working hand in hand in publications. By purposeful quoting, they are using each other as a supposedly plausible source.

 

To lend credibility to fake news

 

Another method to compensate for possibly crediblity deficits in news is an emotional and gripping "story telling". The cinematic implementation reminds of music video clips or action movies. In short: Russian propaganda products are exciting and easily digestible, because they do not (have to) care about journalistic differentiation and precision.

 

The official media and the "grey pro-Kremlin media" are only part of the Russian propaganda apparatus. The third level, working clandestinely, includes the production of fake news and internet memes, usually funny image or video files, which spread virally over social media. To lend credibility to fake news, even pseudo-news websites or Wikipedia pages are created - as happened very elaborately for example in September 2014 with an alleged explosion in a chemical plant in Centerville, Louisiana.

 

[...]

 

 

 

Yes, the British media are entirely capable of giving Germans the sausage when it suits them. :) Thats very interesting, thanks for sharing that.

 

I mentioned the other day about 'Christian patrols' of London in ex Army landrovers being broadcast by RT.

https://www.rt.com/n...-uk-patrol-734/

It seems coverage of it was rather wider than I had thought, including the Huffington post and the express.

http://www.express.c...iving-out-booze

 

However, listen to the tone of the original report. 'Powder keg patrol'. 'A group of far right activist's patrolling the streets of east London' and 'Rising Islamophobia across the UK'. Im not saying the article they originally broadcast was not largely correct, from reading other sources, it seems to have been. The problem I have with RT, is their continual insistence in putting spin on a story to draw it in a direction they want to illuminate. IE, that Britain is becoming far right and Islamophobia is out of control. Even the tatty flag as the backdrop seems calculated to demonstrate a country in decay and on the brink of civil war. I mean, they invite a member of UKIP to comment. Wouldnt inviting a local Police or community representative have been more appropriate?

 

I wouldnt so much call it 'spin'. But calculated to manipulate opinion? In my view yes. The tragedy is if they continued to put out the standard of reporting they did, without all the political commentary, they would likely achieve much more. Its the insistence on opinion manipulation (not least inviting guests all of seem to have the same anti western viewpoint on numberous issues) that make it nearly unwatchable.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 12 March 2016 - 0353 AM.

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#46 BansheeOne

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 0529 AM

Incidentially, I would love to see this purported ranking of EU members by succeptibility to propaganda, and the reasoning behind it. I'm not so sure about the impenetrability of some, though as noted things may have changed with the subsequent advent of the refugee crisis. Still, if the aim was not so much creating pro-Russian sentiment rather than internal, respectively inner-European discontent, I could think of points of attack for most countries. Anybody who has been at the butt of austerity politics is an obvious target for anti-EU and in particular anti-German narratives for example; the UK, allegedly completely immune per the article, doesn't need any excuse for anti-EU sentiment, which is rife throughout Europe anyway. And with the anti-refugee angle, you now have pretty much all of Eastern Europe in the bag, and then some.


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#47 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 0318 AM

More information warfare, and touches on your others points about exploitation of Brexit and other issues.

 

http://www.smh.com.a...310-gng8rk.html

 

Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro's inquiry into Russian trolls stirs up a hornet's nest

Soon after Jessikka Aro poked the trolls, they started to stir.

In one of the early calls, someone phoned her mobile and fired a gun.

All these horrible things [they say] have given me this feeling of fear sometimes. They stalk me all the time. They stalk everything that I do on social media.  

Jessikka Aro

"[It was] a Ukrainian number," says the 35-year-old Finnish journalist. "It was like the sound of a firing gun. I tried to ask in Russian, 'Who are you? I'm listening to you,' but he didn't say anything. It was just shooting."


Jessikka Aro, a Finnish journalist who's been the subject of a sustained attack by Russian propaganda trolls ever since she started investigating them. Photo: supplied

Undaunted, she kept poking. And the growls have been getting louder.

Last spring someone sent her a text message pretending to be from her father – who died 20 years ago – telling her he was "watching her".

Another wrote a song, mocking her as a bimbo "James Bond" NATO agent with a drug habit. There is even a music video online, with Aro portrayed by an actress in a leotard and wig. It would be funny if it wasn't dripping with venom.


Part of the online trolling used against Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro. Photo: supplied

And just a few weeks ago there was a blog post. Someone had trawled through old court records and found a copy of Aro's 12-year-old fine for amphetamine possession, twisting it into outrageous claims of addiction and drug dealing.

Personal attacks on journalists are nothing new. But the case of Jessikka Aro is considered extraordinary by European Union officials familiar with this and other cases.

They told Fairfax Media it was a case study of Russia's escalating "information war" against the West, an increasingly sophisticated and well-resourced operation that already counts the annexation of Crimea among its successes.

Aro is an investigative journalist with Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle. All her life she has been fascinated by Russia, she says – "it's my favourite topic, really" – she finds Russian society "interesting, fascinating and also a bit scary".

Finland's history makes its bigger, stronger neighbour an enduring presence in its culture and politics.

Aro had been writing about jihadist propaganda, and noticed reports about Russia's "troll factories", reportedly Kremlin-funded set-ups pumping out fabricated news and propagandist social media commentary: regurgitated misinformation from the bowels of the internet.

So in September 2014 she crowdsourced an article, asking Finns "to help look for trolls, [tell me,] how do the trolls act, how do they work, what is their influence in Finnish public opinion?

"I got something like 200 responses and information," she says. "I also got so much trolling."

A few days later Finnish pro-Russian activist Johan Backman got involved. Last year he was appointed the "official representative" of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies in the Nordic countries. RISS was founded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a think tank/lobby group funded by the Kremlin to promote its policies and interests, domestically and in Bulgaria, Turkey, Finland and France.

But Aro says Backman was doing more than just disagreeing with her journalism.

"He started to fill the internet ... with disinformation about me being some kind of helper of the United States and Estonia and other countries' intelligence services or security and police services," Aro says. "[He was] claiming – lying – that I am collecting some kind of illegal database of Putin supporters in Finland. And that it's criminal.

"He was doing very active campaigning against me."

Fairfax Media put a list of questions to Backman but he had not responded at the time of writing.

According to a report from a Finnish news agency, police last week launched an investigation into Backman and the chief editor of a news blog, MV Online, in relation to the persecution and defamation of Aro.

Backman stirred up the trolls, Aro says. Soon after she began to receive "very disturbing messages, absurd messages, trolling messages" in Russian, English and Finnish, on the internet and by phone. And over time – as she has written more stories about their activities – they have just become worse.

"All these horrible things [they say] have given me this feeling of fear sometimes. They stalk me all the time. They stalk everything that I do on social media. They take my pictures and add them to [false blogs]."

They "repurposed" her holiday photos, they emailed editors and politicians to call for her sacking. They even stalk her friends.

At one point, one offered to "play down" the hate speech against her if she apologised and promised to stop writing about pro-Russian trolls – an offer Aro considered blackmail.

Such trolls, Aro says, are having an unhealthy impact on freedom of speech and democracy more broadly.

Aro says she has spotted some "high-profile officials" in the Finnish parliament lurking on troll groups on social media.

And she says ordinary Finns who are exposed to troll misinformation have "told me that they have started to lose touch with what is true and what is not true ... for example, in the Ukraine crisis they don't know what is a fact and what's not, because trolls mess up the conversation".

Some of those attacking her say they are just exercising freedom of political speech. Aro has no time for that argument. In fact they are trying to suppress other people's free speech through aggression, she says.

An EU official who has been studying Russian propaganda – and who spoke to Fairfax Media on condition of anonymity – says Aro's case is "quite extraordinary".

"I'm actually surprised this is happening in the EU," he says.

The amount of resources being put into an attempt to bully Aro was remarkable. "Not only money but also people. The purpose: intimidation ... to kill the debate."

However, Aro is far from the only victim, nor the only topic of pro-Russian trolling, misinformation and propaganda, the official says.

"You go through the disinformation stories around the continent and you see the very same article launched at some minor Russian blog site, then multiplied by 15, 20 different web pages and then gets back to the Russian media who can say, 'Oh, ISIS fighters have joined the Ukrainian armed forces.'

"It is organised to serve the purposes of the Kremlin."

The official says the propaganda takes different forms in different countries: in Britain it exploits the Brexit issue, in the former Soviet bloc it tries to drive a wedge between countries over Middle Eastern refugees.

Prior to Russia's annexation of Crimea, the official says, a flood of disinformation clouded claims that Russian troops had entered the Ukraine province.

"It showed that disinformation can affect our political decision-making," he says.

More recently, a claim emerged – since admitted false – that a 13-year-old Russian-German girl was raped by a Middle Eastern or North African refugee in Berlin. The claim was spread and outrage stoked by pro-Russian trolls, even sparking a protest on the streets of Berlin, and then was stirred further by the Russian Foreign Minister before the whole story was found to be a hoax.

"This is a serious problem that doesn't just affect the Ukraine or Baltic states but also a huge part of Europe," the official says.

He puts credence in a theory that the troll network is used to "road-test" conspiracy theories, seeding six or seven competing pieces of propaganda or misinformation and letting the Darwinian world of online information exchange prove which is the hardiest – which is then republished by more conventional media. It's a system applied, for example, to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

"One of the biggest problems is we don't have a clue how much money they put into this," the official says. "We do not have clue how much media there are, how many people they target, how many people they reach. We can only guess from the results.

"The aim is not to make you love Putin. The aim is to make you disbelieve anything. A disbelieving, fragile, unconscious audience is much easier to manipulate."

But Aro says she is undaunted, going up against these foes.

"The best thing I can do is to just publish everything that happens to me. That's also what my audience wants.

"I don't want to be portrayed as some kind of crying victim. Yes, I cry sometimes, but most of the time I just do my articles and don't care."

 
She also has a twitter account. Not that im stalking or anything. :wub:

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#48 JasonJ

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 0432 AM

Two words.

Comfort Women.

http://scholarsineng...logspot.jp/?m=1
 

 

Videos like this attempt to exploit the ensured complete ignorance.

 


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#49 Adam Peter

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 0508 AM

 

In one of the early calls, someone phoned her mobile and fired a gun.

"[It was] a Ukrainian number," says the 35-year-old Finnish journalist. "It was like the sound of a firing gun. I tried to ask in Russian, 'Who are you? I'm listening to you,' but he didn't say anything. It was just shooting."

 

Clairvoyance? Misogyny? Hardcore feminism? Hard to pinpoint the motives :)


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#50 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 0913 AM

I dont suppose it was to ask her out on a date.I mean yeah, but that method, no. :D


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#51 Adam Peter

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 0917 AM

I meant somebody => he.


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#52 DB

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 0816 AM

Spin or no spin, the picture needs to be posted.

 

german-culture-day-things-you-should-kno

 

Jason, are you a native English speaker?


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#53 JasonJ

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 0820 AM

 

Spin or no spin, the picture needs to be posted.

 

german-culture-day-things-you-should-kno

 

Jason, are you a native English speaker?

 

 

Yes, born and raised in the US. Just about finishing up 4 years so far in Japan.


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#54 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 0827 AM

 


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#55 sunday

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 0842 AM

This looks like belonging to a "Because England..." thread.


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#56 Panzermann

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 0927 AM

German paper FAZ paints Snowdon as a russian spy. having had contact to russian agents when he had traveled to Geneva in Switzerland in 2007. Unimaginable that someone might be fed up with the NSA on his own. And Snowdon has not published anything about russian or chinese activities so far. Yeah, totally surprising he does not show the dirty deeds of his host. :rolleyes:

http://www.faz.net/a...d-14117555.html

rest of the article is about russian media campaigns against Germany.

Edited by Panzermann, 14 March 2016 - 0929 AM.

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#57 BansheeOne

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 1413 PM

Yeah, that's the article I earlier translated excerpts of; obviously they waited a couple days before putting it online after it appeared in print.


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#58 bd1

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 1647 PM

I meant somebody => he.

in finnish and in estonian language there is no gender. iirc nor in hungarian. i have to constantly remind me to switch the he/she and yet often mix it up

 

 

old linguistic joke - there is no Sex and no Future (tense) in fennougric languages


Edited by bd1, 14 March 2016 - 1649 PM.

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#59 Panzermann

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 1808 PM

old linguistic joke - there is no Sex and no Future (tense) in fennougric languages


ROFL :lol:
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#60 carrierlost

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 0358 AM

Norwegian site www.aldrimer.no has started publishing stories about Russian operations in Estonia.

Some claims are quite extraordinary like "Russian special forces are operating inside Estonia" with description of attempted shoot-down of Russian UAVs over airbase; "Russian diplomats catalogue bridges in Estonia". 

Site claims to have sources (plural) that have leaked material to them. 

 

As any good story some parts might be true, but stories seem to be purposefully inflated to create FUD. 

 

In addition to the stories on the website there is also some videos posted by them:

 

 

 

While entertaining and I really cant verify the events that they describe. But what I can say is they seems to have failed some basic fact checking.

For example the "russian village of Sindi" they describe is actually a town of about 4000 people of which russians are less than 15%. 

In the original story (which has now been changed) they mentioned 50 pro-Russians recruited from that village/town, which like really unlikely and now has been changed to Pärnu.

 

 

 


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