I hate to agree with Reagan but that “evil empire” crap is starting to make a lot more sense to me now.
Courtesy of CBS News:
Russian Twitter trolls have attempted to fuel the anti-vaccination debate in the U.S., posting about the issue far more than the average Twitter user last year, a study out of George Washington University has found. The “sophisticated” bots shared opinions from both sides of the anti-vaxxer debate, which took the U.S. by storm and prompted tech companies to crack down on the spread of misinformation surrounding vaccinations.
In the study, professor David Broniatowski and his colleagues say the Russian trolls’ efforts mimic those used in the past. Such trolls ramp up controversial issues in the U.S. by inflating different viewpoints, the study says.
The U.S. is in the midst of the worst measles outbreak in the country in 25 years. Health officials say misinformation and anti-vax messages have led more people to avoid vaccination, allowing the disease to spread.
One of the main reasons anti-vaxxers refuse vaccinations is that they incorrectly believe they cause autism.
Amazon has said they will take anti-vaccine books off of the shelves and Facebook has said they will clamp down on the spread of vaccine misinformation, but I am not about to hold my breath.
I can’t say I was terribly surprised to hear the Russians were promoting this garbage as we, but this one caught me off guard:
Not only did Russia fuel the anti-vaccination debate, they have also spewed unverified information about 5G wireless technology. RT, a U.S.-based Russia-backed TV network, reported that new 5G technology was linked to cancer, autism, Alzheimer’s and other health issues, The New York Times reports. This had a real-world effect, with smaller blogs and websites picking up RT’s false stories and sharing them as fact, the Times said.
I am not precisely sure why Russia is trying to scare people away from 5G as they are currently working on their own version as well.
The best I can figure is that the propaganda is mostly directed at America and is targeted to negatively impact our 5G program or simply keep the country paranoid about everything in the hopes of taking advantage of those fears during the 2020 election.
Whatever the case the best vaccine against this kind of bullshit is to educate people and help them to see through the manipulations.
That would be a hell of a lot easier if folks would stop gorging themselves on reality TV, and getting all their news from Facebook and Instagram.