My Trump-supporting uncle likes to post pro-Trump/anti-Liberal memes. Given that there is a Russian ‘troll factory’ whose purpose it is to generate such memes to influence American voters, is there any way to identify the origin of these memes? If they can be traced back to an original poster, then can the original poster be identified as a Russian troll or not a Russian troll? I’d love to point out which ones he’s sharing were created and disseminated by the adversary he spent his military career fighting.
To a large extent, the reason that some propaganda memes are not easily traced is because they are intended to be hard to be sourced to the original post.
There are plenty of memes that can be traced back to the origin, (for example 4chan, or similar) and identified with a specific, although anonymous, account, but that doesn’t make sense for a disinformation campaign. A wide spread disinformation campaign would most likely have its origin in a huge number of accounts (most likely bots) with no single obvious point of origin.
Cut your losses; block him on Facebook, unless the uncle is very rich and you stand to inherit.
Define “original source.”
A lot of the Russian money is spent on tech people in places like Macedonia. These people know the Russians are paying them to flood America with propaganda.
You trace an image to it’s first post from Macedonia. Proof that the Russians are behind it? Not really.
In addition there are bot nets. PCs and devices that route stuff from the source to another site. So you determine an image came from Granny Grump’s old, insecure router. And?
The US is involved in a well-funded, high technical info war and most people, including top government officials are unaware of it (or worse in denial), and have absolutely no clue how to fight it.
Uh, who cares where it comes from? If the meme is bullshit, it’s bullshit. If you’re going to argue anything, argue the logic, not the source.
No, I love my uncle. Even if he is wrong!
Facts and logic are irrelevant to certain people. Demonstrating that a certain meme was disseminated by the Bad Guys would be a little more effective, I think.
I don’t know your uncle, but the old saying “the enemy of my enemy (e.g. Liberals) is my friend” often applies. If your uncle really hates modern Russians that much, then what does he think about Trump praising Putin and blasting NATO?
You’re overthinking it. Just tell your uncle, “You know that was started by Russian spammers, don’t you?”
I’m not saying he’ll automatically believe you, only that saying that line will be about as effective as having actual proof, particularly if you say it every time.
If you want to dress it up a little, you can add something like, “The Russians originate it, then they use servers in Bulgaria to distribute it to spammers in the Cayman Islands to send to their U.S. mailing lists.”
You can always try Tineye https://www.tineye.com/ to do image searches.
Gotta throw the Trilateral Commission and the Reverse Vampires in there somewhere.
Nothing you can say will change his mind. Remember the old saying, “You can’t reason somebody out of a position they didn’t reason themselves in to.”
Agreed, that’s why so many are suspicious of self-interested stories broadcast as news. The slant is obvious when you understand the subtleties of propaganda.
I mean Russian-born fake memes aren’t exactly new. The KGB was behind a number of conspiracy theories that still persist to this day that were originally aimed at the American left, such as the Moon landing being a hoax, AIDS/HIV being a CIA creation to kill black people, Capitalists keeping inventions such as the electric car and water running cars back. We have the actual original documents proving the Soviets were behind this and people to this day still believe all of those as true.