Don’t listen to any lizard people this year.
— Biden Inaugural Committee (@BidenInaugural) December 31, 2020
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) January 1, 2021
— Slate (@Slate) January 1, 2021
S6: It’s such a complicated area and in particular because what everybody wants and partially media researchers and all of us who work in this area have sort of contributed to this sort of stupid forensic evidence required mentality on all of the stuff. It’s kind of like hacking. Everybody wants to see the attribution, like this particular information stream came directly from the Kremlin, and it’s because of them that X and none of it is clean and neat like that in the information domain. Right. I mean, obviously, what Russian actors, what Soviet actors have always been really good at is psychology. And they just invest way more resources into training people in the space than the rest of us do and way more resources into creating these sort of like agencies and things that are distractions that we look at that sort of distract away from the main core pieces of work. And we all chase those rabbits down different holes and sort of disappoint a lot of the time. And I think it’s so hard to look at the information domain and say any particular conspiracy stream or information stream comes directly from Russia. There’s a few where you can do that, but more so. What they’re good at is just sitting in systems, looking at our stuff, being like, hey, this is something that we could use to exploit divides, drive people crazy, and then picking these things up, developing them, amplifying them in ways that are incredibly damaging and corrosive in the United States. And they understand how they spent a lot of time figuring out how algorithms work, how you can micro target things to different groups and people. None of this is rocket science. If you can sell a vitamin with it, you can sell an idea with it. And they’re just they’re really good at doing this. I think in the Soviet period, the intelligence efforts, particularly the psychological operations, were really hampered by the fact that they were trying to promote this ideological cause, right? Yeah. Yeah. Great Communist unity of brotherhood or whatever. Bullshit. And it was a real, you know. Hollowed out real fast and everybody saw it and it was real hard to sell it and it sucked, and I think even they got bored of it after a while. And they were really good at getting various lefties to sort of take the bait and be like, yes, communist brotherhood. And everybody else was like, yeah, I’m going to go over here and eat my McDonald’s. And they don’t have that roadblock anymore. And what they’ve really embraced in the post-Soviet period, particularly under Putin, with the rise of this generation of KGB men to take over the country, many of whom were involved in illegal programs, many of whom were involved in the infiltration of Democratic and other groups, is understanding how you get into a group, reflect its own thinking, and then just twist it and subvert it in ways that are really effective. And so I think there’s been so much more investment in this in the Kremlin sort of tactically using divides and narratives and different places to really accelerate fracture within societies, whether it be US, European, whatever, in ways that we just don’t accept because it doesn’t seem to make sense. Right. Like, why on earth would the Kremlin, which depends on oil revenue to survive in many respects, fund and work with and amplify green narratives about anti fracking and all this other stuff? And yes, it’s sort of also relates to their economic interests, but it also just like digs into divides and societies in Europe. The green, like the support of the Green Movement, has been really, really effective at creating social divisions between generations in particular and so far that the far left in the far right Europe are really not that far apart. And in waves, you see this happening in the US right now. So there’s just there’s all these things where very tactically, on a very narrow line of divisive commentary, Russia will get in and figure out ways to push and amplify and exploit these things, even though it clashes with something else that they’re doing. Right. It’s this exact exact example we saw in sort of the Facebook ads, quote unquote, crap that happened during 2016 where they literally sponsored two separate political rallies facing off against each other at the same time because they fight. And I think that is such an important example of just they do not want a group, a political actor, a thing to be the victor in this information narrative. They just want to create the conflict and they’ll push anything that they think will push people toward a conflict within societies they want to weaken and within their own society truthfully. Right. And I just think people really still don’t get this.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) January 1, 2021
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 1, 2021
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 1, 2021
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) January 1, 2021
— Counterpoint (@newcounterpoint) July 31, 2020