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Putin & social media manipulation

(22 Posts)
KeinBock Fri 06-Jun-14 21:10:34

I've noticed in recent months that the comments sections attached to news articles about Russia, Putin, the Ukraine crisis are invariably strangely jaundiced.
On the Daily Mail today (I know, I know) there was an article with dozens of comments by people talking about how wonderful Putin is - each had been green arrowed hundreds of times. The same thing is evident on the Guardian's site.

There are clearly thousands of trolling keyboard warriors on the Russian payroll.

claig Fri 06-Jun-14 21:51:31

The Russians must be paying an awful lot of money because the newspaper comments have been like that for months while all the journalists were anti Putin.

It was the same for UKIP, the newspapers were all against them and the comments sections were nearly all for UKIP.

Maybe the comments just reflect the view of readers rather than the newspaper employees.

KeinBock Sat 07-Jun-14 07:57:16

If that's the case the situation is even more perplexing. Surely no right minded person would regard the likes of Putin as an heroic figure. What am I missing here?

claig Sat 07-Jun-14 08:08:33

KeinBock, you have to read the comments to understand it. Just like the media told us that no "right minded person" would support UKIP and then UKIP caused an earthquake.

People are not taken in by the media anymore. They understand they are being played. They understand that people/parties are demonised by spinners. They know that the real reasons are far more complex and they know that there is money, bankers and geopolitics behind what happens.

claig Sat 07-Jun-14 08:15:07

Prince Charles says that Putin is acting like Hitler and the media love it. They jump on that and give it full coverage thinking that that will shut the commenters up on all the newspaper columns who disagree with the media's view. But it doesn't work. People are no longer taken in by the media and they don't take what Prince Charles says as seriously as the media take it.

AuntieStella Sat 07-Jun-14 08:17:24

Thinking that anyone who holds a different opinion must be part of some sort of organised effort to dominate on social media is ostrich-like head-in-the-sand.

I think the Labour party is known to have done it (caught at it in early days when coordinating messages were spotted).

I should imagine others do it too.

It is no more wrong or offensive for one group than another.

And yes, I think that people are far more ready to express a much wider variety of views than before. And I think that's right (even views I would argue strongly against).

claig Sat 07-Jun-14 08:22:17

AuntieStella, we are living in a time of greater public expression than ever before due to the internet, facebook, social media and newspaper comments sections. Now we are hearing people's opinions rather than just politician's opinions.

The great and the good don't like it when the public disagree with them (and vote UKIP for example) and so they may eventually shut down or try to control the comments sections on newspapers.

PacificDogwood Sat 07-Jun-14 08:25:34

Sadly, I think it is more likely that the positive comments are likely coming from the general public and that there is no social media conspiracy.
claig, just because lots of people agree with something does not make it true: shite must taste good, 7 gazillion flies cannot be wrong.

claig Sat 07-Jun-14 08:28:31

'shite must taste good, 7 gazillion flies cannot be wrong'

But the people aren't flies. I tend to prefer the opinion of the public to the opinion of the great and the good and the bankers. Because what the great and the good want is often not in the interests of the public.

KeinBock Sat 07-Jun-14 19:52:06

Well this Forbes piece seems to support my suspicions...

Russia's media trolls

Here's an excerpt:

Now the Russian government has resorted to paying its supporters to astroturf the comments sections of bona fide news organizations with pro-Russian posts. The Guardian reports that its “moderators, who deal with 40,000 comments a day, believe there is an orchestrated pro-Kremlin campaign.”

KeinBock Sat 07-Jun-14 19:54:27

And the Guardian's take is here

GlacindaTheTroll Sat 07-Jun-14 19:55:47

It's an irregular verb:

We post a lot but say similar things because we say sensible things.

You post a lot, but you're ill informed.

They post a lot but what they say is objectionable so must be orchestrated.

KeinBock Sat 07-Jun-14 20:02:27

Well, it seems pretty sensible to conclude that someone shameless enough to rig an election would also be prepared to rig social media.

PacificDogwood Sat 07-Jun-14 20:38:10

People are in very many respects rather like flies.

PacificDogwood Sat 07-Jun-14 20:38:28

grin @ 'irregular verb'

YellowBlue Sat 07-Jun-14 20:40:57

Ethical standards in Russia are different. People routinely buy pirate DVDs and download music illegally. Official salary which is used to calculate taxes is only part of most people's pay; the other goes in a discreet envelope and is handed in person. Diplomas, Ph.D. dissertations, sick leave notes, driving licenses and a whole lot of other 'credible' certifications and documents are purchased every day, bypassing important procedures. So what's wrong with some social media manipulation for a 'good cause'?.....

KeinBock Sat 07-Jun-14 21:08:06

Is that intended as a defence of cultural relativism, yellowblue

YellowBlue Sat 07-Jun-14 21:16:02

My point was that those who question online trolling are probably projecting their own western ethical norms and values onto Putin, instead of seeing things for what they are.

KeinBock Sun 08-Jun-14 09:46:55

On the contrary, it is Putin who is seeking to project his ethical norms (or lack thereof) onto the Western media.

This determination to rig/misrepresent public opinion also reveals that Putin is far more concerned about how is he regarded in the West than he likes to pretend.

YellowBlue Sun 08-Jun-14 15:28:59

That's also true. It works both ways.

Bluebelljumpsoverthemoon Wed 11-Jun-14 08:47:24

Media opinion is not public opinion, the propaganda against Putin is ridiculous, he hasn't killed hundreds of thousands and turned millions into refugees by invading Iraq, he hasn't supported tens of thousands of foreign terrorists slaughtering innocents, committing religious cleansing and creating civil war in Syria. Perhaps you'll understand how unwelcome those Saudi funded al Qaeda fighters are when they return to Britain and other European countries and show us all what it's like to be 'rescued' by them. Putin was one world leader who stood up for the population there and gave Obama the get out clause he needed to not militarily intervene and put Al Qaeda in charge as the Saudis and their huge oil funded western interests pressured him to do.

Why is he compared with Hitler? Because he allowed a former part of Russia, populated mainly by ethnic Russians a referendum to rejoin their own country as requested? He doesn't support Saudi foreign policy (which the West destroys itself and 'enemy' Muslim countries in support for)? He doesn't support multi billion pound arms interests who lobby for unnecessary wars? He doesn't support the western entitlement to overthrow every government they dislike, bomb their population and fund terror in the name of freedom? He is independent and runs his own country rather than doing what the self declared masters of the universe tell him to? He's nothing like Hitler, I suppose his accusers are projecting.

The media represents war and money interests, if their concern was exposing dangers to us and they genuinely wanted to challenge human rights they'd be reporting on on our own leaders and their extremely disturbed allies. They're the greatest threat to peace, freedom and civilisation, not Putin.

mathanxiety Mon 30-Jun-14 05:45:04

Excellent post there Bluebell.

The west (and the OP) seems to have been completely carried away by American humbug and hubris. Hopefully the lesson of the many recent disasters in North Africa and the ME have been learned by America -- don't start revolutions that you have no idea how to finish, and no stomach for finishing either.

Too late for Ukraine, sadly. It remains to be seen there how Germany will pick up the pieces and repair the damage done to EU-Russian relations. Hopefully the US has learned not to screw Germany over either.

The wisdom of Russian foreign policy as opposed to American is amply demonstrated by the debacle currently underway in Iraq. It looks as if Putin was completely correct to steer well clear of the Syrian uprising. It is also glaringly obvious that despite the continuing strength and growth of fundamentalist Islam, oil-rich Iraq was left weak and almost completely defenceless by America -- (it has turned to Russia and to Iran for support and has received immediate help from Russia) and that an American Uturn on Iran is imminent. Most of all it is clear that something is going to have to be done about Saudi support of Wahhabism. Sadly, nobody in Washington can put the bell on that particular cat.

It also looks as if a federal settlement in Ukraine will come about after all, and it is also likely over the next few decades, as IMF imposed austerity begins to bite really hard, that eastern Ukraine will drift more and more (back) towards Russia, and western Ukraine will provide numbers and shrillness to the growth of the Far Right in Europe, for which we will all thank Hilary Clinton one day.

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