Thursday, February 2, 2017

Russia infiltrates American blog

I find stories of Russian hackers believable, but it's even scarier that Russian have targeted my favorite political blog. (It's my favorite not because I highly agree with it, but because it is more frequently readable and interesting.)

The number of pro-Russian commenters on this post is terrifying. Furthermore, they are well armed with talking points: we have to avoid a confrontation that would lead to WWIII, NATO wastes so much money on unneeded defense, Russian isn't threatening or expansionist, it's the governments in ex-Warsaw Pact nations that pushed to join NATO, not the people, etc.

I'm not going to list and debunk all their arguments because that takes a hell of a lot of effort, as you'll see if you read the comments. Suffice to say, the Russian shills are persistent.

What does it mean that there are so many Russian shills on this one thread? How many are commenting here and elsewhere, often pretending not to be Russian, and trying to influence US opinion? To me, it's very worrying indeed. Back in 2012 I detected what I thought were anti-Obama commenters, particularly people pretending to have voted for him in 2008 but deciding against him in 2012.

These Russians are more numerous than those anti-Obama fakers, and the stakes are higher. I'm seriously worried that US policy against Russian could weaken, and leave Russia emboldened to retake lost territory. I wasn't horrified by them taking the Crimea because it was traditionally Russian, and ended up in Ukraine when maps were redrawn (if the capsule history I read was accurate).

But if Russia has its eye on territory in the Baltic regions, that will be very nasty. An invasion there would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but no longer with a Putin-worshipping idiot president (Trump) in the White House. Or Russia might do something else somewhere else. I don't know what to predict, but they must be held in check for the good of the rest of the world. A muscular Russia has rarely been a boon to the world, and I'm not betting it will be better now.

Also very scary is how many on the right are repeating Russian talking points. The right wing media has turned people into parrots. They are such dutiful parrots that they don't even recognize or remember that Russia and its totalitarianism is an enemy. I wonder whether the leaders of the right-wing media have forgotten that too. Maybe they've been bought off, blackmailed, and have gotten so stupid that they don't remember either. Twits... or worse.


Extras. Here are the names of the Russian shills commenting or upvoting on the discussion thread connected to this article. I'll be watching for their activity elsewhere, and adding to the list as warranted.

Likely Russian shills without Russian names. Many don't write, but upvote and therefore may be shills-in-waiting.
  1. R.W. Emerson II
  2. EmilyEnso
  3. aprecoup
  4. Styx
  5. Aldous Huxley
  6. Southern Cross
  7. michaelbarningham
  8. Kapricorn4
  9. John
  10. Bob Belz
  11. Juan Pablo
  12. fafniro
  13. JOSEPH
  14. helena violet
  15. Theodora Angelina
  16. NATOcracy
  17. Popcorn (probably not--his comments as of 2/13/18 seem very independent)
  18. Che Guevara
  19. ES71
  20. Enrique Costas
  21. Ron Halaka
  22. lawfrench
  23. Go Wild Rose
  24. Big John
  25. Jim Jacobson
  26. Gary Sellars
  27. BlackRoseML
  28. Doom Sternz
  29. George Evans
  30. Dig 'Em
  31. Maelstrom_19
  32. ApqlA
  33. Lord Lemur
  34. MR
  35. ed H
  36. Zack Smith
  37. Kimo Krauthammer
  38. Goldenah
  39. drkkrw
  40. Mirumir
  41. Saint Jimmy (Russian American)
  42. chris chuba
  43. Anja Boettcher
  44. dorotea
  45. Leftofleft
  46. Qephetzial
  47. Jav
  48. shmaktastic
  49. Bruno Clabot
  50. Huaimek
  51. Hedel
  52. Timo Okello
  53. Eugen Hartescu
  54. Martin Alfven Haider
  55. Maji_Baridi
  56. Aaron Kirsch MDPhD
  57. Phil
  58. Stelios Touchtidis
  59. roberto
  60. nick1111
  61. Ramnik Singh
  62. Dan Delgado
  63. Ztop
  64. Atlas
  65. Southern
  66. Winston_S_43
  67. Leonardo Giuseppe Masia (Italian but still a shill)
  68. Nomadic Man
  69. Savage Savant
  70. Farmer Scott
  71. Attila
  72. Diego Van (mixed signals earlier, but lately very shillish)
  73. John
  74. EF304
  75. Mark Thomason
  77. experience
  78. Rock IT!
  79. Carl Tycon
  80. Arthur
  81. toucheamigos
  82. Winton
  83. terry
  84. Sean.McGivens
  85. Puigdemont Catalan
  86. timepass?
  87. KissMyAss88?
  88. Tokaro?
  89. Bankotsu - it's a Japanese name, but many shill-like activities. Sometimes he seems independent, and sometimes like a highly paid, highly intelligent shill. Note: He's identified himself as Chinese. 
  90. tweets 21 (maybe not--seems more logic-based)
  91. Power Girl (probably not--pattern of comments is ad hoc, like a real person)
Russian shills with Russian/Slavic names:
  1. Putler Polak (weird name, but uses Russian)
  2. Kalinin Yuri
  3. Gazpikae (with a Romulan avatar)
  4. Jozsef Volgyi
  5. Sergey Tokarov
  6. Andrey Koleshov
  7. novychelovek
  8. German Yakovlev
  9. Jew from Russia
  10. Keruzkho
  11. Victor Krachkovsky
  12. stephen kulodrovic
  13. Dmitry Vakin
Weirdos spouting pro-Russian talking points:
  1. anonaccount - comments on lots of topics, usually with an alt-right spin. Wrote that whites are superior.
  2. Pseudo Turtle - sounds reasonable sometimes, but hates libs and wants his country back.
  3. profwatson - a very strange commenter with a lot of craziness (Porklandia) but also tried to be serious at times. He upvotes a lot of Russian shills.
Chinese shills:
  1. discoverer
Iranian shills (added 10/24/19)
  1. Soldiers spies traitors books
  2. Mike
  3. James
And, here I am, burying the bombshell, except that it isn't a bombshell for most of us thinking people on the center or left. I worry that Putin is hoping to split the Europe into two camps, and maybe he thinks he has found the partners who'll make that deal--Trump and the stupid American right-wingers. It's a scary reminder of the Hitler-Stalin deal, and I sure hope that it doesn't happen. But I worried and I'm going to be vigilant and outspoken.

Update 11/9/17. Putin had a press release/speech published in Bloomberg View. The good part was that comments weren't disabled, so people went to town. I argued with a bunch of Russian shills including their top gun Emerson. Nothing new really. The same talking points about Russia being good, Ukraine being corrupt and full of Nazis, armies at the doorsteps, etc. I added some new shills to the list.

1 comment:

ModeratePoli said...

From a different thread, here is a comment from a former Russian shill who was identified on my list:

Popcorn said...
Ok, I read some MP’s threads. Some impressive research on RUS shills. Who are you? Can’t believe a single person scrutinizing all those comments. You even got exactly the right date of my personal switch from (foolishly) Putin-tolerant stance to ‘independent’ as you prefer to state. For a good reason of course, as can be traced in my comments.

May 21, 2018 at 5:42 PM [Emphasis added by MP]

See other comments from Popcorn here.