Voices from Russia

Sunday, 29 March 2015

It’s Worse Than You Thought: The “Kremlin Troll Army” Exposed

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Editor:

It’s time for Victor Potapov to quit Radio Liberty and to condemn it on the “front-page” of the official ROCOR website. It’s issuing egregious lies about the Rodina and about the Church. I didn’t believe that I could think lower of Potapov (a man hated by most of his brother-priests for his arrogance), but he’s hitting new lows. He aids the enemies of Christ’s Church… full stop. I don’t believe that he’s going to quit… draw the appropriate conclusions. He holds a knife to the back of Russian patriots and to the throats of all Russian Orthodox Christians by working for such a theomachistic organisation. I’d say, “Look at what he does, don’t listen to what he says. He makes his money as a Judas”. Don’t fight with such sorts… but do avoid their company… they have spiritual “cooties”.

This article below proves that RFE/RL issues black propaganda of the vilest sort… Potapov must leave it. He won’t… that speaks volumes.

BMD

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As an alleged Kremlin troll army continues its apparent octopus-like spread across the globe, the US government’s international broadcaster RFE/RL has courageously struck back by exposing it right in its lair. However, would that be enough? In the past few days, articles have been popping up around the web, providing explicit details about a “Kremlin troll army” which operates out of a St Petersburg suburb, a scary place where laughter is prohibited and 400 professional trolls toil day and night to convert public opinion in Russia and abroad. There is only one problem with the article… there’s no pro-Kremlin “trolling” taking place in the evidence the authors provide. Whilst employees of these “troll farms” do allegedly make hundreds of political posts, they’re made on local forums with tiny membership, rarely over 500 users, and even tinier posting activity at most, 5 posts per person, most of which appears to be from the “trolls”.

Considering the extremely low impact of such posting, the goal appears to be not to convert public opinion, but rather search engine optimisation (SEO)… search engines such as Google crawl the web for keywords and links, which are then used to give weight to certain web pages when search terms are entered. The interviewee even admits it himself, “There are keywords, tags that are needed for search engines. We’re given five keywords… for example, “Shoigu”, “Defence Minister”, “Russian Army”. All three of us have to make sure these keywords appear all over the place in our comments. You can’t even conjugate or decline them. Sometimes, it’s very hard to write when you can’t use any declensions!” The bit about declensions is important because Google doesn’t work well with Russian morphology; for example, processing the keyword “armies” separately from the keyword “army”, unlike Russian search engines such as Yandex. Keywords give weight to certain words when used in Google searches. Then, there’s the question of “fake discussion”. Of course, no forum moderator would be happy if they discovered that their forums are used to post link spam. However, if the articles do generate some discussion, which seems to be limited to 2-5 replies, and do seem to be expressing different points of view, forum moderators would be more likely to keep them. The use of tiny forums with low readership is also important for this, as that allows the posts to remain on the websites for months or years, without deletion, because there are other threads discussing the same topics or being archived.

The US government’s international broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) did discover something, but it’s quite the opposite from an ominous troll army working around the clock to convert the entire world to a Putin-based religion. They found a search engine optimisation (SEO) company, likely subcontracting for a political consultancy firm. The history of SEO… in particular, “Google bombs“… as well as their use by businesses and politicians goes back to the 1990s. Google and other search engines combat their use by blocking their most obvious use, but hundreds, if not thousands of SEO companies continue working to promote business and political interests around the world.

However, some use fear of “Russian propaganda trolls” to whip up hysteria, which they then use to push through funding increases for RFE/RL and other foreign broadcasters. This coincides with the very poor journalism of the article reporting on the “troll army”, as the authors don’t attempt to corroborate the story. There doesn’t appear to be security risks involved, as it publishes the first and last name, as well as a photo of the interviewee, and considering advancements in modern technology, hidden camera investigations have become one of the easier things in the world.

In this sense, the sensationalism of the story, the poor quality of the research, and the lack of definite information about the “troll army” somewhat ironically contributes to the decline of government-controlled international broadcasters, which now ring the alarm about the rising popularity of networks such as RT. The sentiment is also echoed in Europe, where politicians such as German parliamentarian Norbert Rottgen claim that “Russian propaganda” presents itself as a “source alternative to Western media”, which must be countered by “strengthening European international media, Deutsche Welle, BBC International, and RFI (Radio France International)”.

28 March 2015

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150328/1020147102.html

Friday, 23 January 2015

23 January 2015. Langley Front Big Attacks RT… Compares It to ISIS… Where is that Rightwing Slimer Potapov?

00 Evil to Triumph. Oleg Tyagnibok. 09.02.14

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Read this. The BBG is a known Langley front organisation. Victor Potapov worked (or still works) for Radio Liberty as a responsible middle-level manager (he has or had a “red” official passport)… let’s not be coy, RL is the CIA’s misinformation outlet aimed at Russia. Potapov must condemn this false accusation and oppose all those who support it (especially, the Republican opponents of Holy Rus… after all, they uphold the Uniate terrorists operating in the Ukraine). Otherwise, he and other fellow travellers such as Paffhausen, Whiteford, Dreher, and Webster stand convicted of Treachery and Treason in the First Degree to Holy Rus and to the Church.

Shall Potapov et al stand for the Truth? Or, shall they support the amoral godless neocon Republican filth? Quo vadis? We’ll see what these Quislings are truly made of, won’t we? To support what this BBG big said is to support those who support objectively-evil men such as O Ya Tyagnibok (a darling of Langley… and one of the worst terrorists in the world today). It’s time to stand tall or go home. I elect to stand tall…

BMD

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Deutsche Welle Accused VOR of Attempting to Manipulate Romanian Parliament


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Once again, Voice of Russia, one of the largest and oldest foreign-language broadcasters in the world, received attacks from EU sources. This time, Germany’s state-run Deutsche Welle radio accused VOR of making Romania a “banana republic” and undermining the foundations of legality in the country, as well as attempting to distance Romania from Berlin and Brussels. DW claimed that VOR manipulated Romanian MPs, and that it’s trying to help turn Romania into a Russian colony. They also accused VOR of masterminding a strategy to nudge the Romanian parliament into changing the Romanian Constitution “in line with VOR’s wishes”.

Earlier, Romanian President Traian Băsescu stated that opposition political parties, media outlets, and analysts are carrying out orders transmitted via VOR instead of listening to Western media. DW’s accusations are another link in a series of attacks on VOR, which broadcasts on-air and online in 37 languages. Recently, VOR suffered a series of attacks… beginning from diplomatic and administrative pressure to hacking attacks on its partners’ sites in Europe. VOR forwarded a letter to DW offering a thorough discussion on the matter to exchange opinions and information. Earlier, VOR gave the Romanian President an opportunity to speak out on-air and on this website.

24 November 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_23/Deutsche-Welle-accuses-Voice-of-Russia-of-manipulating-Romanian-parliament/

Editor’s Note:

If nothing else, DW’s complaint proves that the money that the Kremlin spends on VOR is money well-spent. If VOR weren’t “gaining friends and influencing people”, the Westerners would be silent. In short, the world as portrayed by the Corporate Media isn’t in synch with reality… especially not the version peddled by Fox News, which has a proven track record of publishing outrageous fibs and offers utterly crank analysis. That’s not to mention RFE/RL… a Langley front from Day One. This complaint proves that VOR’s a source well-worth attending to… it means that it cleaves closer to the truth than the Western media does… fancy that…

BMD

 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

28 October 2012. You Can’t Make Shit Like This Up… The new Putinism: Nationalism Fused with Conservative Christianity

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Editor’s Foreword:

Here’s a load of utter crapola from the Washington Post crowd. Oh, yes… Potapov (a Cold War-era Langley propagandist), Mattingly (a semi-converted Southern Baptist), Dreher (a Catholic retread who makes himself out to be an Orthodox expert), Freddie M-G (her thoughts are so precious that you have to pay her 25 bucks a throw just to hear them), and Paffhausen (the obsequious disciple of a man deposed for nasty doings) suck up to this lot… not as badly as they do to the Moonies at the Washington Times or to the rightwing nutters on K Street… but they do suck up to this bunch, and they don’t contradict them (they might lose entrée to the right parties and seminars, then, kids). Again, you have to know what the haters of the Orthosphere say. They do want to cut out our heart and soul and replace it with American consumerism (that’s why you shouldn’t trust the “Orthodox” I named… they’re all drooling supporters of the “Me First” Republican Party). It’s rancid… but it’s a necessary read…

BMD

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Two recent stories offer a revealing… and, to some, unsettling… view of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s emerging state ideology. The new Putinism, you might call it, seems to be a fusion of two older Russian ideas… nationalism, sometimes with an anti-Western tinge, and conservative interpretations of Orthodox Christianity. Both stories portray the coalescing, Kremlin-pushed ideology as a response to rising dissent and, more broadly, an effort to fill an ideological vacuum that has, remained to some extent, since the collapse of the USSR two decades ago. The Financial Times Charles Clover chronicles the new ideology’s emergence in the typically vibrant city of St Petersburg, “long regarded as Russia’s liberal window to the West”, but now “the testing ground for a new wave of conservative, Orthodox church-going, pro-Kremlin patriotism that has gripped much of Russian officialdom”. Clover cites recent censorship of classic Russian works by Vladimir Nabokov and Sergei Rachmaninoff, as well as new law that forbids “yelping” and “stomping” at night, possibly aimed at curbing protests.

Through the previous twelve years of his hegemony, Mr Putin observed a balance between liberals and conservatives in the ranks of the elite, catering to each group in an effort to play one off against the other. Today, that balance appears to have been jettisoned after liberals deserted him, with protesters taking to the streets last December and high-ranking figures… such as his Finance Minister… joining the dissenters. The Kremlin has turned to the more conservative elements of society. More rural, older, and less educated, they respond well to Mr Putin’s nationalist and slightly paranoid rhetoric as defender of the Orthodox faith from blasphemers and protector of the nation against foreign plots.

In Moscow, Claire Bigg of Radio Free Europe finds indications of a Kremlin effort to institutionalise the new emphasis on nationalism… an entirely new government agency for “promoting patriotism” and safeguarding “the spiritual and moral foundations of Russian society”. It’s hard not to be reminded of Iran’s infamous censorship body, the “Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance”, although Russia’s Directorate for Social Projects appears more about cultivating friendly public sentiments than blocking outlawed ones. Bigg and analysts she spoke with portrayed the agency as an outgrowth of Putin’s “deepening hostility” toward foreign organisations, even comparing it to the Soviet-era propaganda department. However, the most significant link to the Soviet era may have to do with the national pride many Russians felt during their country’s height of power. Nonetheless, the initiative is likely to strike a chord with many Russians nostalgic for their country’s lost global clout. Advocates say the new agency could prove instrumental in both filling the ideological vacuum left by the Soviet collapse and rejuvenating the notion of patriotism, still almost exclusively tied to the USSR’s role in World War II.

Russia’s search for an ideology is a big deal for the populous, ethnically diverse country. This campaign’s propagandistic and anti-liberal overtones aside, it does, at least, seem to address this issue. Nevertheless, nationalism is a powerful force, and in Russia has had a complicated history. As EurasiaNet’s Igor Torbakov warned in February, when Putin appeared to begin his ideological campaign, Russian nationalism has at times carried ethnic overtones. About 80 percent of the country’s citizens are ethnic Russian, and, with birth rates below replacement and the population aging, the Russian economy relies heavily on immigrating minority groups. Widespread harassment of migrant workers is already a problem in Russia. A far-right Russian newspaper editor told the Financial Times, “Putin feels the coming of a catastrophe, of the domination of liberal forces which threaten him with the fate of Muammer Gaddafi. He’s fighting back by restoring the balance between the various ideological groups. In this way, he supports us”.

25 October 2012

Max Fisher

Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/10/25/the-new-putinism-nationalism-fused-with-conservative-christianity/?wprss=rss_world

Editor’s Afterword:

Much of this isn’t even true… but many of the konvertsy eat this shit up. Reflect well on the fact that Paffhausen does, and that Potapov was (or still is) part of the Langley dezinformatsiya machine, as he worked for the BBG, a known Langley front organisation… a fact known to all, it isn’t secret, and I’m unmasking no one. Oh, yes, Basil Rodzianko and Aleksandr Schmemann both took Langley’s shilling willingly, too… did I tell you that Potapov married into the Rodzianko clan (everyone knows how Potapov used the official ROCOR website to pursue a vendetta against a fellow Rodzianko clan-member in public… nice guy)? Fancy that… keeping it all in the family, no? This disgusting pabulum has as much truth in it as the typical Monomakhos post… that is, not much. As one of the Cabinet said about Monomakhos:

The Monomakhos crowd is still dancing around their cauldron… I hope that the hammer falls quickly on them…

This post is shit of the same vintage. However, you must stay informed. READ IT and heed what it means. People are swallowing lies, and that’s never good. The truth WILL set you free, but only if you let it…

BMD

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