American Culture

About that Russian meddling on Facebook


The fundamentals of guerrilla warfare, or detective work, indeed of any contest in which one is overmatched, involve dividing before conquering. Turn the enemy against himself. It’s in the Book of Joshua in the Hebrew Bible.

We have a racial…question in America. It’s in our DNA. The country was founded by a racially homogenous group of geniuses who completely overlooked 40% of the population of the southern colonies. The fact that the southern colonies lobbied for this oversight, and that the northern colonies acquiesced, is suspect at best.

Fast forward to the present day, when we’re contending with the completely new problem of algorithmic bubbles. The part of America that thinks like the northern colonies no longer interacts with the part of America that thinks like the southern colonies.

Traditional media formats are accessible to everyone. Anyone can tune in to Rush Limbaugh or Fox News if they choose and find out what information or misinformation is being broadcast. That’s not the case with social media. The medium itself is designed to tailor the message to the audience.

Often, this is advantageous. I want to know when the International Space Station posts an update. Most people don’t. I have instant access to that information without wasting millions of people’s time who don’t care.

It also presents an opportunity for a digital insurgency to divide and conquer. Folks in the northern colonies bubble will never find out that folks in the new South bubble are being lured into the southern colonies bubble, and yet it’s happening right now.

These are screenshots from a “media company” on Facebook called US Updates, which is a foreign propaganda outlet designed to inflame racial tensions in the United States. We can’t fight back against propaganda unless we know it exists.

I found this by accident. How much more is out there?

1 reply »

  1. There’s at least one site that supposedly lets you see if you fell victim to Russian propaganda in 2016. Assuming it really works, that’s a very small step in the right direction.