Ukraine Condemns Apple For Changing Map To Show Crimea As Part Of Russia

Ukraine on Wednesday criticized Apple for changing its location-based apps to show Crimea as part of Russia, implying that the company “doesn’t give a damn” about its pain, as U.S. tech companies face criticism for complying with controversial local laws in order to keep doing business in those countries.

Ukraine Condemns Apple For Changing Map To Show Crimea As Part Of Russia


That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It

[The] goal was two-fold: Grow an audience in part through heartwarming, inspiring messages, and use that following to spread messages promoting division, distrust, and doubt.

…This tweet didn’t seek to anger conservative Christians or to provoke Trump supporters. She wasn’t even talking to them. Melanie’s 20,000 followers, painstakingly built, weren’t from #MAGA America (Russia has other accounts targeting them). Rather, Melanie’s audience was made up of educated, urban, left-wing Americans harboring a touch of self-righteousness. She wasn’t selling her audience a candidate or a position — she was selling an emotion. Melanie was selling disgust. The Russians know that, in political warfare, disgust is a more powerful tool than anger. Anger drives people to the polls; disgust drives countries apart.

…Professional disinformation isn’t spread by the account you disagree with — quite the opposite. Effective disinformation is embedded in an account you agree with. The professionals don’t push you away, they pull you toward them. While tweeting uplifting messages about Warrick Dunn’s real-life charity work, Tyra, and several accounts we associated with her, also distributed messages consistent with past Russian disinformation. Importantly, they highlighted issues of race and gender inequality. A tweet about Brock Turner’s Stanford rape case received 15,000 likes. Another about police targeting black citizens in Las Vegas was liked more than 100,000 times. Here is what makes disinformation so difficult to discuss: while these tweets point to valid issues of concern — issues that have been central to important social movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo — they are framed to serve Russia’s interests in undermining Americans’ trust in our institutions.

…They attacked moderate politicians as a method of bolstering more polarizing candidates.

…Russia strategically employed social media to build support on the right for Trump and lower voter turnout on the left for Clinton. …Russia’s goals are to further widen existing divisions in the American public and decrease our faith and trust in institutions that help maintain a strong democracy.

…Their work was never just about elections. Rather, the [Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA)] encourages us to vilify our neighbor and amplify our differences because, if we grow incapable of compromising, there can be no meaningful democracy. Russia has dug in for a long campaign. So far, we’re helping them win.

That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It – Rolling Stone


Russian Trolls Came for Instagram, Too

Russia’s Internet Research Agency operated a vast network of accounts on Instagram that sought to infiltrate American identity groups, harden ideological divides and sow distrust in the American political system.

Much of the group’s activity was concentrated among several dozen large accounts, …[two] of which had more than 200,000 followers. Many of the group’s accounts targeted specific identity groups, including African-Americans, gun-rights supporters and anti-immigration activists.

In total, posts from Instagram accounts linked to the I.R.A. received nearly 185 million likes during the two-year period reviewed by the researchers, and about four million comments, according to the researchers.

…One post, made by an Instagram account called @feminism_tag, accused Ms. Clinton of insulting women who had accused her husband, Bill Clinton, of sexual misconduct. Another post targeted at African-American voters showed a manipulated image of Ms. Clinton with braided hair, and was captioned “when you need the black vote.”

In all, roughly 7 percent of the more than 100,000 Instagram posts included in the data set mentioned Ms. Clinton, while 11 percent mentioned Mr. Trump. There were no instances of pro-Clinton content on Instagram, according to the New Knowledge report.

…Several of the Instagram posts traced to Russia offered merchandise for sale. 

Researchers suggested, selling merchandise …allowed Russians to collect names, addresses and other personal information from users; second, it allowed them to identify strong supporters of a cause, who could then be targeted with advertisements.

Russian Trolls Came for Instagram, Too – The New York Times


Trump apparently wanted Ukraine to investigate Hillary Clinton in addition to the Bidens: State Department official

He just can’t get over Hillary Clinton.

Before giving U.S. military aid to Ukraine, …Trump wanted “nothing less” than for the European country to announce an investigation targeting Clinton in addition to one targeting Joe Biden and his son, according to a senior State Department official.

…Trump used Clinton’s name as “shorthand” for the investigation he wanted President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch into a debunked right-wing conspiracy theory claiming anti-Trump Ukrainians interfered in the 2016 election.

…Trump’s requested Biden investigation centered on unsubstantiated claims that the former vice president’s son, Hunter, evaded prosecution on corruption charges in the country with the help of his powerful father. There’s no evidence to back up the allegation.

…Sondland, a Trump campaign mega-donor, submitted revised testimony to impeachment investigators earlier this week confirming there was quid pro quo involved in the U.S. aid freeze, saying Zelensky had [to] agreed to make the CNN announcement in exchange for the sorely-needed defense cash.

Kent said he and other career officials were instructed to “keep” their heads “down,” as Giuliani and Trump-appointed administration officials engaged in the dubious back-channel efforts.

Part of that shadow policy included aggressive attempts by Giuliani to slander former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and push for her ouster, according to Kent.

Trump apparently wanted Ukraine to investigate Hillary Clinton in addition to the Bidens: State Department official – New York Daily News