Tag Archives: cnn

Facebook and Twitter Removed Accounts with Ties to Russia’s IRA



Facebook and Twitter have both stated that they have removed accounts that were operating out of Ghana and Nigeria, and that had ties to Russia’s IRA. This comes after CNN’s investigation uncovered activity that “had striking similarities to the Russian troll campaign of 2016, which created hundreds of accounts designed to pass as American”.

According to CNN, Facebook and Twitter had already been looking into some of the troll accounts when CNN notified the two companies of their investigation. Facebook announced:

Today, we removed 49 Facebook accounts, 69 Pages and 85 Instagram accounts for engaging in foreign interference – which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign actor – on Facebook, Instagram, and other internet platforms. This network was in the early stages of building an audience and was operated by local nationals – some wittingly and unwittingly – in Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of individuals in Russia. It targeted primarily the United States.

Facebook stated that they detected this network as a result of their internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior ahead of US elections. They note that their assessment benefited from their subsequent collaboration with a team of journalists at CNN. Facebook said it shared information with their industry peers, policy makers, and law enforcement.

Twitter, as you might expect, posted a thread of tweets about about the situation. The thread started with: “Our top priority is keeping people safe. In collaboration with law enforcement, industry peers, journalists, and expert researchers, we recently suspended a small network of accounts largely Tweeting in English and that presented themselves as based in the United States.”

The next tweet in the thread said: “These 71 removed accounts, operating out of Ghana and Nigeria and which we can reliably associate with Russia, attempted to sow discord by engaging in conversations about social issues, like race and civil rights.”

It would be smart to keep this in situation in mind as you use Facebook or Twitter. There is no logical reason to assume that every account you see is authentic. If you read or watch something on social media that causes you to feel angry or outraged, please wait a few minutes before sharing it. The account it came from just might be a troll – hoping to affect your emotional state so much that you share the content as quickly as possible. Don’t help the trolls!


Is CNN Calling For Curbs On Free Speech?



On July 23, 2010, CNN anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed on air the idea that bloggers should be somehow “held accountable” or perhaps regulated in some way. Here’s the video of that exchange.

It’s no secret that CNN and other so-called mainstream media outlets, both broadcast and print, have had for some time now an ongoing loss of viewers and readers. A number of traditional journalists from time to time have had and expressed an almost open hostility towards bloggers and the Internet. They perceive the Internet as a threat to their business models, and their vaunted self-appointed job as information “gatekeepers.”

If you look back over the past few years, almost every major story, particularly scandal stories, originated first on blogs. In many cases the mainstream media were dragged kicking and screaming into reporting stories. The clearly forged National Guard documents that ultimately ended up forcing CBS to fire evening news anchor Dan Rather comes to mind from a few years ago. Bloggers quickly picked up on the fact that the supposed National Guard documents had been typed up in the default template for Microsoft Word and then ran through a fax and/or copy machine a number of times to make the documents look dirty and/or old. The trouble was, Microsoft Word didn’t exist in 1973. If it weren’t for bloggers, this story would have likely never come to public light, and what is clearly a forgery and a made-up story would have passed into the public mind as the truth.

Should free speech be curbed? Should bloggers somehow be licensed or officially regulated in what is purportedly a free country? Should we be forced to get our news from “professional” or even “licensed” journalists?


Will the Advertising Insanity Ever Stop?



When will the insanity in banner advertising stop. Over the past couple of weeks every time I visit CNN.com or MSNBC.com I get assaulted by the biggest most annoying banner ads I have ever seen.

This complete disregard for the readers experience tells me that the companies involved know nothing on how to properly engage audiences.  I have never used ad blocking software but ads such as these are driving me towards installing ad blocking software for the first time.

I sure hope the media properties are getting a premium on these sorts of ads because the goodwill that they are losing is significant.


Don’t let old media drive up Gas costs



I sure hope the IQ of new media consumers is higher than that of the average old media watcher. I do not watch much news on TV. It is a waste of time. Well last night my friend is telling me about gas going up. We are in Georgia. So apparently the hurricane has disrupted a refinery in the Gulf of Mexico ….again. The talking heads on the news are saying gas will be in shorter supply and the price will rise. They say you might want to fill up before it happens. Well this sends the thundering herd of idiots out to line up at the gas stations. What do you think happens when people are lined up to buy a product whether or not there is a shortage? The freaking price is going up big time. If I am a barber & I see a line of people out my shop doors, I only have time to do so many haircuts. So my time becomes more valuable so I can raise the price. Supply & demand people! I have no doubt the news people are right when they say prices will rise but they cause a panic by promoting fear as usual. So the prices go way beyond what they would naturally. New media providers are hopefully more responsible than the old school TV people. They don’t have to promote one bad thing after another to keep consumers watching or listening. What if CNN said that drinking bleach is absolutely necessary for good health? I bet 5% of the population would wake up dead the next morning! The herd mentality has to stop. If all I can do as a part of new media content is call out people for doing dumb things so be it.