Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

Today I watched Trump’s Iran speech, it was as I expected.

What was different for me, however, was reading the comments from “Americans” during the speech.

Hateful, extremist, and thoroughly without merit…  and I got to thinking ‘How many are Russian trolls?’  I realized “We’re not in Kansas any more”, referring to the Wizard of Oz.  We are in a place very much unlike where we were one year ago.

I realized that I could now label almost anyone a Russian troll for their extremist perspective and it might be taken as an insult, our perceptions, as a people, might have changed. Nevermore can it be just dismissed.

The genius of the Russian trolls is that about 49% of Americans are “Never Trumpers”, meaning they are opposed to Trump as the President.  Of course, the media might eventually extrapolate their findings of Russian involvement in the American culture and examine if Russia fanned the flames of “Never Trumpers” to exacerbate the divisions that exist within America.  We know that the flames of BLM were fanned, it only makes sense that the violence prone far-left was also fanned.  We see a direct opening with Antifa, who openly embraces communism – which is different from Russia but must be acknowledged.  The genius is that unless one has access to IP addresses for accounts, or the account uses a foreign address, it is very difficult to say this or that account is Russian and not, as it appears to be, American. Without the direct cooperation from Facebook, the questions will only remain questions.  How to obtain that cooperation?  That is a secret…

In the face of continued exposure of Russian involvement in the US pre and post election, one might think Americans would be more introspective and aware of the global forces at work to influence the way they think. According to the comment section of the Facebook livestreaming of President Trump’s address, there is nothing further from the truth.

I checked out the identities of quite a few people making rude, hateful, and thoughtless comments.  Most appeared to be genuine Americans, with a deep history of family pictures, shared histories, and exchanges of ideas.  There were a few, however, that fit the description of a probable Russian troll.  Few friends, a very shallow history, no profile information, and very divisive comments made on public comment sections.

When I interact with Americans on Facebook, especially in comment sections to ongoing events broadcast live, I must remember…  “You’re not in Kansas anymore”.  Russia is still working against us.

Be careful out there. 


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