How Online Trolls Divide Americans IRL | NYT News

How Online Trolls Divide Americans IRL | NYT News

“These cyber actors are
using social media platforms to spread disinformation —” “and set Americans
against each other —” “targeting both sides of a
country’s most divisive issues.” You’re watching
a recent Senate Intelligence
Committee hearing about how
foreign internet trolls are using social media
to influence American politics. In the lead-up to the
2016 presidential election, Russian trolls used
disinformation campaigns to sow discord. Experts are now seeing
similar activity heading into the 2018 midterms. “The trolls are trying
to improve their tactics. They’re trying to get better
at hiding their traces. So it’s going to be a
game of cat and mouse.” Ben Nimmo is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s
Digital Forensic Research Lab. He works to
identify and analyze online disinformation. “The way these accounts work has always been a
combination of infiltration and radicalization.” He walked us through
some of the imagery and strategies used by
notorious online trolls from Russia and,
perhaps, elsewhere. First, they pick a
hot-button issue. “There are certain very
high-profile problems that American society has,
which are well-known abroad. And it tended to be those
ones which are targeted. So the original
troll factory accounts were very heavily
engaged in the debate on gun control and
the Second Amendment, on women’s rights
and abortion rights. They were heavily engaged
on Black Lives Matter.” A slew of inauthentic accounts
that Facebook recently deleted took the same approach, updated to fit
the latest top news. They use identity politics
and emotion to appeal to followers. Next step, tap
into a community. “So you start off by
making positive comments about the target group. Let’s say you
want to masquerade as a Black Lives Matter supporter. You start by making lots
of positive comments about the
African-American community. You talk about how
beautiful the girls are. You talk about their
glorious cultural history and you try and engage
with real activists who are busy on this subject.” Now it’s time to ramp it up. “Once you’ve established
your credentials, you start slipping
more and more toxic content into the mix. So, rather than
saying positive things about your community, you start saying negative things
about other communities. The war against
colonialism is a theme that comes up on this page
time and again. It’s a hint at violence. And last, they try to move from the
online world into real life. “And then maybe you
slip into the mix a suggestion: ‘Let’s have a protest. Let’s get real people out
on the streets.’ And then,
because you’re operating probably from
some time zones away, you need to think, ‘Well, how
do we get this to happen?’ And you start
trying to reach out to genuine local
organizations. Maybe you say, ’Well, we can’t
turn up on that day because we’ve got
something else going on. Why don’t you
organize this for us?’” In 2016, Russian trolls
organized political events for and against both
presidential candidates. At an Islamic center
in Houston, they organized a protest and the
corresponding counterprotest. “Down with the racists! Down with the Nazis!” So why go
to such lengths? These bad actors
are trying to polarize the American public by exploiting existing
tensions in our society. The goal? Make Americans
see each other as enemies, especially during high-stakes
events such as elections. If people feel they can’t
trust their neighbors or their government, democracy falters. “There is a massive,
sophisticated, persistent campaign
on multiple fronts to misinform, divide
and ultimately manipulate the American people. Is that accurate?” “Yes.”

78 Replies to “How Online Trolls Divide Americans IRL | NYT News

  1. That's how much we are starting a Civil WAR right now! I hate Trump haters!No peace until they are dead!!🇺🇸😡🖕

  2. Oh yeah, all Russian. Including me im actually KevinSki. They're on to me!

    Please stop. Just calling any information that goes against Clinton or Bernie "russian disinformation" just makes you silly. Weakens your argument.

  3. Online trolls should have been called Internet Terrorists.


  4. Idiotic Trumpsters will deny anything no matter how much evidence how much the amount of studies, etc they will always deny it, theyr too dumb to think critically or to adjust their own beliefs

  5. I wonder what we can do about this? (Sarcastic tone) I mean like come on, anyone can ignore what they see, it's a good thing people don't actually fall for those ISIS ad- what? They do? Bull—-

  6. just remember this vid when you notice inordinate rudeness online.
    also remember that we as americans have no countermeasures because there are no hot button issues in russia. (sorry borat)
    at any rate, it didn't and will not work simply because we don't like being played by alcoholics in basements and are used to hashing things out for 200 years.
    the only result will be unintended consequences. you cannot steer a cloud.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (sorry again borat)

  7. Majority of people online are too emotionally self absorbed to realize when they are being trolled. Pay attention to the gas lit clues – baited questions.. disagreement by way of insult.. or flat out anger for no reason. These are strangers that are looking to trigger 😂 Laugh and move on.

  8. I’m surprised, a good video from NYT, well done. It wasn’t suggested in this video but it has been suggested elsewhere that trump won because of Russia, which is just totally ridiculous. Russia didn’t morph into 63 million people to vote for him. Russia doesn’t favor any side of American politics, putin is a mobster who wants to see America destroyed. Americans of all ideologies need to realize this.

  9. For Americans to be divided all of a sudden means they were once united, please show me where that was ever the case 😂

  10. NYT should also do a vedio ,where they explain how Islam is threatening western civilization ,how they are subverting western Judeo-Christian culture covertly with demography .
    Also, how radicalism in the leftist camp like the black radicals, the so called progressives are also hurting American interest.

  11. Why do trump supporters tend to think guns are cool, and that its cool to think that gunshot victims go on to experience an actual afterlife? Bullets go in, prayers go out, in the u$a.

  12. If Trump is a man of Putin, then how does he impose sanctions against the Russian Federation?
    Are we being held for fools ?
    The special prosecutor may be arrested for attempting a coup d'etat organized by Soros, the sponsor of the US Democratic Party.

  13. Jesus knews their thoughts and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand". ( Mt. 12.25).

  14. an still our government does nothing to stop any kind of interference you got to love getting attacked at both ends

  15. This reminds me of youtube videos about black people. Any video that has a black person will have comments that are extremely and disturbingly racist. It does not matter the subject of the video be it positive or negative. When Americans of all colors see this they are further discouraged that their country is filled with hate filled people. One way you can break a democracy is by making its people apathetic and disillusioned. Furthermore, American society is an optimistic one so by creating disillusion, you are basically destroying one of the characteristics that makes it strong. So guys, regardless of the negative things that individuals do, just remember to not let your emotions cloud your critical thinking skills and remember that they are always some good folks out there that might not look like you as well.

  16. If people weren't as sensitive on the social medias then politics wouldn't be seen as a joke. Is a mess.

  17. And, just to demonstrate NYT's point, nasty little war-on-truth trolls and shills have infested the comment section. Thumb them down. Don't reply directly.

  18. Very interesting question. How one media, NYT can na an example, can convince us that they are the real source of informattion but not disinformation. As we can hear everyone tells its own story.

  19. Has anyone at the NYT read CBS investigative reporter Sheryll Atkisson,s book, “The Smear” ??

    Because it details how domestic organizations (not just foreign) create social and political narratives through troll farms and Astro turfing. How the media is manipulated and how news is shaped and molded beyond reality. You can go on Ted Talks and watch her speak on the topic.

  20. A house divided against itself, cannot stand. If Americans are ignorant, hateful and distrustful, want authoritarianism from the left or right, then America itself is not free or smart and will decline. There's no natural right to our being the best nation, the richest nation, the most free nation…

  21. Yes, "online trolls," are dividing people, not the media. Don't worry guys you can totally trust us, we're the media. We're literally telling you not to trust people but we're not the ones sowing mistrust and doubt in the public's minds.

  22. This 4min long video gives one of the best explanations I've seen on what's going with Russia. They then went on too use the same tactics in America.

  23. Maybe we should just remove Russia from the Internet altogether; they can make their own Internet anyway. This won't completely solve the problem, but it will help.

  24. NYT used to be real bold daring journalism. Not anymore. Max Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald are more reliable voices.#FreeJulianAssange

  25. Wow. New York Times vain, maligned & misinformation campaign against the Trump administration. And we're the ones sowing discord?

  26. You got social networks labeling & banning Conservative voices… And we're the ones dividing America? Bunch of Communist Propaganda. Stirring public opinion with MASSIVE FEAR & HYSTERIA over non-existent threat

  27. You had 20 Nazi sympathizers at Charlottesville, and yet the NYT, & the Washington Post arouse suspicions that all Trump supporters were linked to this hateful group

  28. When it comes,itll happen fast. Defend the indefensible. There are plenty of lampposts for ACTUAL racist writers and their bosses,in addition to the bankers

  29. This is a problem on both sides of the argument. If we can somehow collectively recognize there is a problem we can work together to fix it. We have to find a way; I'm getting the feeling the USA is going to be in some serious, serious trouble in this regard sooner than we think. Like, potential civil war bad.

  30. Can't have an opinion anymore. Now there are baiters out there who I feel do stir up trouble. There are organizations that bus people in to their rallies. This is just a war over who's right and who's wrong. Pretty soon, they will want to abolish the First Amendment. Just a matter of time. The whole goal is the shut up America.

  31. I think you at the New York Times help divide America you hire racists and clearly hate white people especially white males like myself. #cancelnewyorktimes

  32. Divisions had been there before. These bad actors just use what was already there. Difference is, now you have a president who does not unite.

  33. Would like to see a list of sites, FB pages and YT channels that have been found to be created or manipulated by Russian trolls or other groups who are intentionally sowing discord.

  34. 2:06 "Anti-colonialism is a hint at violence". lmao, remember folks, be inoffensive and uncontroversial when criticizing actual violence, only politically-entrenched and funded power groups are allowed to use violence

  35. I saw a link to a New York Times photo collection of Viet Nan pictures this morning. One of the pictures showed some black soldiers standing behind concertina wire. The photo caption was: Black soldiers at Camp McDermott stand by a barbed-wire fence intended to segregate their living quarters from those of white soldiers. Oct. 10, 1970.
    I never saw a segregated living space like this in Vietnam or stateside or in Europe. Wonder what this means? The blacks were segragating themselves? Must have been because the army certainly didn't segregate any of us.

  36. Unfortunately, the American people are tasting a variation of the medicine their own government has been shoving down the throat of other nations around the globe. It's about time the American citizens started asking why they are involved in some many wars.

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