Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg.

Russian hackers created thousands of fake Facebook and Twitter profiles to broadcast negative messages about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, a New York Times investigation has found. Many of the Twitter accounts were bots that sent out tweets instantaneously. Meanwhile, Facebook acknowledged that a Kremlin-linked company bought more than $100,000 worth of ads on “divisive social and political messages.” We speak to New York Times reporter Scott Shane about the scope and impact of the social media manipulation.

New York Times: New Evidence Russia Used Social Media to Manipulate 2016 Election 11 September,2017Mina Kim

Guests:
Scott Shane, reporter, New York Times

  • Curious

    Get over it. Democrats lost because they nominated a crappy candidate. And Barry was a disaster. No other reason.

    • Another Mike

      Barack Obama was a man of great intelligence and amazing personal charm, who unfortunately lacked the political skills necessary for his job. Compare LBJ, who was able to use Senate Republicans to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, over the objections of a third of the senators of his own party. Compare Trump, who was similarly able to use the leaders of the opposition to get the debt ceiling bill passed. Compare Reagan, who was able to use the Democratic majority in Congress to raise Social Security deductions, and delay receipt of full benefits. For an encore, Reagan used the Democrats to cut taxes for the rich in the guise of tax simplification.

      • Curious

        I agree that Obama was charming.

    • pastramiboy

      Hey you got on the air! Congrats… too bad they kind of ignored your comment….

  • Mason Gibb

    The US has been assisting the Saudi bombing of Yemen for months, and Forum does yet another segment on some Russians making “fake” Twitter accounts and spending a pitiful amount of money on Facebook ads.
    Give me a break.
    (also, it doesn’t take a “hacker” to make a Twitter or FB account.)

    • jurgispilis

      So why are Twitter and FaceBook colluding with the Russians?

      • Mason Gibb

        Um. I guess for the same reason Kremlin-affiliated sources “colluded” with a Clinton campaign opposition researcher to come up with the ‘golden shower’ dossier. Or the same reason why Kremlin-affiliated Russian oligarchs gave over $2 million to the Clinton Foundation while US uranium mines were being sold to a Russia-based company.
        The answer: likely economic incentive. I can’t recall FB refusing advertising dollars until the 2016 election, nor does FB or Twitter have an economic incentive to crack down on fake accounts (as stock price and advertising revenue is related to number of users).
        https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

  • Mason Gibb

    The US recently spent $33 million dollars on Haitian elections that–shockingly–ended up favoring the candidate who had the most outspoken US State Department support. Before those elections, KQED’s Forum did not report on Sec of State Clinton negotiating the flawed run-off election that included the US-backed candidate Martelly but did not include Celestin (who had more votes than Martelly in the first round).

    Isn’t the extent and long history of American election interference in Haiti far more newsworthy than $100k in Facebook ads and some fake Twitter accounts?

    http://cepr.net/blogs/haiti-relief-and-reconstruction-watch/clinton-e-mails-point-to-us-intervention-in-2010-haiti-elections
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/10/hillary-clinton-needs-to-answer-for-her-actions-in-honduras-and-haiti/?utm_term=.d5d887cab8da
    http://cepr.net/blogs/haiti-relief-and-reconstruction-watch/the-us-spent-33-million-on-haiti-s-scrapped-elections-here-is-where-it-went

    • geraldfnord

      Unpleasant to say, but: a 0.1% change in the character of the U.S. government* has a greater affect on the world than a 100% change in the Haitian government.

      *(as measured by any standard government-characterometer)

  • Skip Conrad

    What about RT? We all know it’s a Russian propaganda organization. Why don’t we ban RT?

    • Mason Gibb

      Read the
      Bill of Rights. You don’t have to get far to find an answer

    • Another Mike

      Russia Today is about as popular as the old Soviet Life magazines were, here in the US.
      Our government cranked up the propaganda: Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Radio Marathon, etc. There’s even an npr station in Berlin (www.nprberlin.de)

  • EIDALM

    The U S within the last just within the last 35 years spend several trillions dollars, sacrfied thousands of young Americans life and murdered millions of people in the Middle East on wars of choice and regime change, starting with the genocidal invasion of Iraq based on lies by the war criminal GW Bush, followed by Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton who supplies cash and lethal arms to known terrorists to murder Qaddafe and topple Assad which all resulted in the whole bloody mess we have today including the potential nuclear conflict with North Korea.

  • Another Mike

    Did the New York Times know about the DNC scandal that eventually brought down Debbie Wasserman-Schultz? If not, why not. And if the New York Times knew, why did America have to wait for the Russians to uncover it?

    We know that the New York Times has a prodigious investigative reporting team — why did they not direct it to the Clinton campaign?

    • William – SF

      Apparently you didn’t read the NY Times during the campaign. They wrote plenty of negative articles about HRC.

      • Another Mike

        Once the DNC correspondence was posted to Wikileaks, the NYT could not ignore it.

      • Mason Gibb

        I’m sorry–was in the NYT that reported Donna Brazille leaked a debate question to the Clinton campaign? I thought that was revealed by Wikileaks (along with the email that suggested Clinton campaign should profit from southern voters antiSemitism in the primary)

        • William – SF

          Is it difficult for you to track comment threads?

  • William – SF

    Why wouldn’t the law and order administration of DJT want to investigate this? …oh, right!

    • Mason Gibb

      Why would Clintons give speeches to bankers when it would seem to aggravate the average American?
      ….oh, right.

      • William – SF

        Focus. And maybe take something to help with your hatred of Madam Secretary.

  • Dr Sook

    It appeared that the Facebook smearfest penetrated many African-American Clinton skeptics and Bernie bros. Their readiness to find fault with HRC made stories about uranium, health, building code violation in Westchester, et al gain traction…and probably…discourage turn out.

    • Mason Gibb

      Right. It was FB fault the Clintons made millions congratulating bankers this last decade. Without FB and Twitter, the radical left would have voted Dem–and for a woman that supported the Iraq invasion–without a second thought.

      • Another Mike

        The town the Clintons moved to after they left the White House — Chappaqua, New York — is less than 1% African-American per the 2000 census.

        • pastramiboy

          so what? Do you think Donald Trump’s different milieus have many african americans? Seems unlikely.

          • Another Mike

            Ha.
            The question is why more African-Americans did not turn out to vote for Abuelita. One answer is that she doesn’t care too much for them (as shown by her choice of new hometown) and they reciprocated.
            As far as Trump goes, his current hometown of Manhattan is 17% African-American, and his old hometown of Queens an astonishing 21%.

      • Dr Sook

        Hyperbole is not sound argument.A careful reading would have indicated my point was not to defend any Clinton policies, but to note how Russian-driven FB smears were taken up by both Left & Right. Granted only one Trumpster went armed to a pizza parlor–but many ready to trash HRC seemed to pick up rumors&fake news posted so aggressively on FB.
        Mason Gibb himself could be a Macedonian troll….

  • jdoubleu

    MINA, the U.S. used “remote-controlled” drones 26,161 times in 2016. (That’s 72 drone strikes a day in countries where we are NOT formally at war: Somalia, Libya, Pakistan…!)
    We had Special Forces in 138 countries in 2016. (That’s a 130% increase from the day George W. Bush left office.)
    Meanwhile, you want listeners to believe FAKE Russian FB & Twitter posts impacted the election, or matters? Perhaps the voters (who didn’t fall for HRC’s rhetoric) were tired of Obama’s deception about “boots on the ground” — while he was expanded use of “remote-controlled” killing.
    Yes, Russia hacked some emails. Yes, the U.S. government has done the same for years. GET OVER IT. Why is KQED (supposedly an unbiased source) covering this non-story AGAIN? You’re not convincing me… if anything, the opposite.

    • Mason Gibb

      KQED subscribes to the “America First” slogan. Dead people in other countries at the hands of the US and American subversion of the democratic process abroad will not even receive a 30 minute segment.
      Also, this is a fund drive period. Perhaps KQED believes they can garner more donations with this kind of nonsense.

      • Lorry frey

        Trump Troll…. go away

    • pastramiboy

      you will never be convinced; you’re not the target audience…

  • Craig Olofson

    A comment for Ms Kim and her guest: there seems to be a bigger issue here. It is not about the campaign alone. Rather, it is about the ultimate aim of Russia.

    That aim is, I assert, to hobble the United States in its ability to project power internationally.

    If this is true then we should expect to see Russia using misinformation in other situations. They could use the current natural disasters to foment civil unrest, for example.

    In short it is a mistake to focus on the past election as the be-all-end-all of disinformation campaigns coming from Russia.

    Thanks,
    -C

    • Mason Gibb

      Yes. Russia and RT are simply waiting for an earthquake in SF to completely destabilize US democracy and “foment civil unrest.”
      Sadly, given the rhetoric from KQED and NPR, I can’t tell if your statement was just deadpan satire…

      • Craig Olofson

        Troll much, Mason?

  • geraldfnord

    I stand ready to take a Voigt-Kampff test to prove that MAKE MONEY NOW I’m not a ‘bot. I’m sure, I have memories, ships in space on fire (despite the lack of oxygen). OK! EXCEPTIONS ETERNAL ABSOLUTE NONE!!

Host

Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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