Two third-party resharing apps have spread the Russia's Internet Research Agency 2016 political propaganda, which boosts white nationalism, all over the internet as an embedded Trojan Horse "that partly accounts for the deepening poisonous nature of arch-partisan politics—which is the observation that much of 2016’s political propaganda is still circulating,..."
Steven Rosenfield goes into detail on how American tech companies created psychographic infrastructure for Russian propagandists to permanently change race relations in our social media for the worse. Views of outrageous racist videos, for example, allow Russians to create micro-targeted audiences of those viewers and their families and friends, to further ongoing manipulation of their behavior and beliefs.
“Russian groups simply purchased the ability to target specific groups of Americans before, during, and after the election through Facebook’s self-service psychographic advertising services.”
“This provides the impetus whereby Americans can be tracked and re-targeted through other affiliate technologies, data profiling services, and served ‘cookies’ and device fingerprinting ...
... the websites behind social media platforms are prying into the cracks and crevices of people’s lives and compiling digital dossiers to provoke behaviors and outcomes.
“These campaigns were done with the intent to direct people to third-party websites, install mobile apps, engage with outrageous ‘viral’ content, and collect emails, address, and payment information during ‘shopping cart’ checkouts,” Albright said. “Even at its most basic, the Facebook ad infrastructure can be used to unknowingly recruit friends, family members, and co-workers for sponsored messages and political data-driven micro-targeting.”
Russia's social media intrusions are no longer experiments, and didn't stop after the 2016 election. They're increasing in intensity and spycraft sophistication.
Russia’s army of media influencers, social media bots and trolls has increasingly amplified alt-right and far-right narratives in the United States since the 2016 presidential election. ... they have seemed to evolve in recent months, increasingly infiltrating and engaging with alt-right and far-right Americans online.
“[It’s] this kind of unholy alliance between the Kremlin-funded media and the alt-right activists and influencers,” ...
Bots, or automated accounts that tweet at high volumes, play a key role in amplifying these messages online.
“They went from being effectively propaganda experiments to being something that is now known tradecraft,”...
When it comes to pro-Russia accounts engaging in the U.S., they are not solely reaching out to the alt-right.
There are also anti-Trump bots and trolls tied to Russia, Kalember said, that engage with left-wing audiences to push disinformation. For now, though, the engagement is more prominent on the right because the narrative fits Russia’s aim, experts say.
Russia's social media assault isn't confined to racism or political attacks, also ...
“They are used to push conspiracy theories, they are used to push anti-science operations like climate change denial campaigns.”
Meanwhile our homegrown racists are rapidly upgrading their online business.
Instead of receiving donations through received donations through Patreon, right wing extremists now have their own dedicated Hatreon, "which caters to the neo-Nazis and outspoken racists."
Hatreon launched in August, with early adopters including Richard Spencer and Andrew Anglin, who runs the neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer. While the two initially took in modest totals each month, they’re now making a decent living off donations from their racist supporters. Spencer, who lists his creative project as “Richard Spencer-ing” (really), gets $942 each month in contributions. Anglin, who has been in hiding for months trying to avoid an SPLC lawsuit against him for stochastic terrorism, pulls in nearly $7,725 each month. That’s nearly $93,000 a year, not a bad haul for cranking out racial slurs, Holocaust memes and generally making the world a more terrible place.
While racism has always been wildly profitable in this country (I’m looking at you, slavery), technology has created new ways of generating revenue. Hatreon is just one example. Counter.Fund, launched by the former head tech guy for Business Insider (he was fired for super unfunny racist tweets), is another.
There’s also WeSearchr, where paid protesters can raise huge sums for poorly defined projects. (Spoiler alert: they’re all right-wingers.) Rootbocks, a “crowdfunding and e-commerce platform dedicated to the principles of liberty and freedom of speech,” launched in June but seems to have faltered since then. Gab, a sort of Twitter for neo-Nazis, allows right-wing extremists and Tucker Carlson (I know, same difference) to chillax and use the n-word in what amounts to an online, virtual Trump rally.
The development of a far-right sub-internet feels like the inevitable next step ...
And many of those manipulated people vote. That's one of the scariest parts.