Russian trolls tried to seduce voters with music tweets in 2016


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In a report on the 2022 midterm elections, Cornell researchers found that Russia tried to swindle voters during the 2016 presidential election with an innocent weapon – tweets that about music and videos – taking a page from his home disinformation playbook.

The plan compares the technologies used by autocratic governments to protect their national media, such as Russia and China, which have “melted” the social media with fun information to divert their citizenship from local events such as protests they don’t want to cover.

“We have seen the flow as a social media campaign in China and Russia; for example, in the last ten years Russia has often misled the media about Ukraine,” he said. said political economist Alexandra Cirone, a government assistant professor at the University. of Arts and Sciences (A&S) who teaches a course in false and deceptive news. “But it’s an autocratic country, trying to create a democratic country in the middle of the election – we’re in a new country.

Cirone and Will Hobbs, assistant professors of psychology at the College of Human Ecology and government at A&S, co -authored the paper, “Asymmetric Flooding as a Tool for Foreign Influence on Social Media,” which was published on March 25 at Political Science and research methods.

Preliminary research has shown that the Kremlin-affiliated Internet Research Agency (IRA) has used thousands of troll stories on Twitter and other social media sites to strongly support former President Donald Trump’s announcement that in the proclamation of Hillary Clinton, in an attempt to increase the social divisions in the middle. conservatives and liberals. That action was ignored in the partisan memo.

But in 2018, Twitter released critical data on more than 10 million tweets sent by 3,841 IRA accounts. (These stories show Russian users being manipulated by humans, or “trolls,” as opposed to computer -driven stories, or “bots.)

Researchers ask, what is the apolitical action there?

To analyze the data, the authors used a new text scaling technique developed by Hobbs, pivoted text scaling, which can separate short tweets and topics from that information over time. He also used his knowledge of digital politics and autocratic governments to see what he saw and others used by autocratic governments in the past: filling in the blanks. users with apolitical views, says Hobbs.

“In China, government -affiliated users can confuse media platforms with Chinese history or motivational words,” Hobbs said. “So what do Russian trolls use in the U.S.? The fun comes from an automated evaluation process.”

Key words in those tweets included “hiphop,” “remix,” “rapstationradio,” “nowplaying” and “indieradioplay.”

Building on an era of IRA memos, they see left -wing IRA trolls leaking a lot of fun information to their artificial liberal community and abandoning political data in the aftermath of the publicity. At the same time, conservative trolls are targeting their community with a rise in political awareness. The effort to promote the right to vote and the left to abandon politics.

Hobbs notes that it doesn’t take long for a Twitter user to see a music tweet and quickly stop thinking about politics. But if a troll immediately releases a large number of music tweets to a feed, it changes everything else.

“If someone puts out a lot of fun stuff, and your feed only shows 10 posts at a time, then there are eight non -political posts right now that will push everything into the feed. “said Hobbs.

What has been seen shows that having fun is not as bad as we think it is. “They have a lot of planning to pull off, and the fun information can be used for a number of purposes,” Hobbs said.

Cirone added: “You may think you’re clicking on a cat meme, but you’re actually putting a troll business into your feed so you can start disseminating segregation information, or monetize your they follow. “

More important are the consequences for the upcoming midterm elections, they said.

“There are going to be all sorts of bad guys who are trying to disrupt the midterms, especially in the contested races. They can all use fun things to turn around, or to become regular users, ”Cirone said. “The fact that ordinary people don’t associate music with Russian trolls is what makes them so good.”

Political trolls change, do things to deceive and confuse the public

More information:
Alexandra Cirone et al, Asymmetric flooding as a tool to encourage foreigners in the internet industry, Political science research and methods (2022). DOI: 10.1017 / psrm.2022.9

Presented by Cornell University

Directions: Russian trolls try to seduce voters with music tweets in 2016 (2022, April 11) retrieved on 12 April 2022 from -distract-voters-music.html

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