Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #AltWankers

Most recents (24)

Due to happenstance, we ran across a bunch of right-wing Twitter accounts with šŸ» emojis or references to bears in their display names/profiles. Somebody should probably warn Goldilocks.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote The bear thing seems to have originated with right-wing comedian @OwenComedy, who calls his fans "bears" or #Unbearables. By exploring @OwenComedy's followers and those of several "bear" accounts we ran into on our own, we found 1517 accounts with "bear" or šŸ» in their profiles.
@ZellaQuixote @OwenComedy The šŸ» accounts by and large link right-wing conspiracy-oriented websites (Breitbart, Infowars, etc), although the most frequently-linked site is satire site babylonbee(dot)com. Voice Of Europe, Reddit, and Russia Today also turn up.
Read 7 tweets
ICYMI a theory that Trumpā€™s weekend medical encounter was the result of an assassination attempt via poison has been making the rounds in some sectors of #MAGA Twitter. Whatā€™s up with that? #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote We downloaded tweets containing Trump, hospital, and poison, poisoned, or poisoning. Other than a few early speculative tweets, the story appears to originate with an Infowars article claiming (without evidence) to have info from a White House source about a poisoning attempt.
@ZellaQuixote The retweet network mirrors this - Infowars protegƩ @PrisonPlanet is the main driver of traffic, accompanied by @gatewaypundit and random #QAnon accounts. The "Trump was poisoned" claim quickly spread from Infowars to other propaganda sites, including #antivax site Natural News.
Read 3 tweets
The answer to the question you never thought to ask: Yes, there are Stephen Miller pornbots. This is an appropriately short thread on them. #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote We ran a few searches we never really expected to run, and found a network of 11 Stephen Miller pornbots. Although they were created over a span of several years, with the most recent being from 2016, none have tweets prior to October 30th, 2019.
@ZellaQuixote Unsurprisingly, the Stephen Miller pornbots repeat tweets. Theyā€™re also not solely Stephen Miller pornbots, as becomes clear when one looks at the repeated tweets; like many other botnets, they piggyback on trends. Weirdly, they strip the # from hashtags. #YouHadOneJob.
Read 3 tweets
When it comes to whose tweets they copy, some bots have the worst taste. #AltWankers #LilSebastian

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote We found a trifecta of IFTTT bots that clone nearly every tweet @sebgorka tweets or retweets. @SebGorkaTweets and @CassieMAGA2016 copy Gorkaā€™s tweets in real time (more or less), resulting in schedules similar to Gorkaā€™s own, while @Christo06390451 marches to a different beat.
@ZellaQuixote @SebGorka @SebGorkaTweets @CassieMAGA2016 @Christo06390451 The first of the three bots, @SebGorkaTweets, makes no secret of its function. Indeed, it advertises itself as a means to view Sebastian Gorkaā€™s Twitter feed for those who are blocked by Gorka (although simply logging out or using an alternate account accomplishes the same goal.)
Read 5 tweets
#DebateNick, a hashtag calling for Daily Wire pundit Ben Shapiro to debate alt-right podcaster Nick Fuentes, trended last night/early this morning. We took a look at how it propagated. #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote Where did #DebateNick get started? The first on-topic tweet is an exhortation from @ZoomerClips to trend the hashtag We also found a comment on 4chan proposing trending the hashtag (and another taking credit), but this appears to be an hour after @ZoomerClipsā€™ tweet.
@ZellaQuixote @ZoomerClips Retweet network for the first ~4 hours of #DebateNick tweets. The hashtag appears to have gained sufficient momentum to trend largely due to a small but devoted group of accounts that retweeted dozens or hundreds of #DebateNick tweets apiece.
Read 4 tweets
BOMBSHELL: Lawyer accidentally submits 50 pages of #SethRich conspiracy theory copypasta to court in lieu of a coherent lawsuit. #AltWankers

(link to the actual legal document)
lawflog.com/wp-content/uplā€¦

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Yes, this is an actual legal filing repeatedly presenting the claim that Seth Rich was @wikileaks' DNC email source as established fact. Bonus points for citing Gateway Pundit and super bonus points for using the phrase "Russia(n) collusion hoax" 7 times. #AltLawyers #AltWankers
Update - the copy of the filing I originally linked has been removed. Here's a new link:
lawflog.com/wp-content/uplā€¦
Read 3 tweets
Shot: #SethRich conspiracy theory tied to Russian intelligence.

Chaser: Seth Rich conspiracy theorists @CassandraRules and @JackPosobiec spread a thread by @aaronjmate falsely suggesting that a US judge ruled the Internet Research Agency has nothing to do with the Kremlin.
Also note the path of propagation - the dubious IRA claim traveled through Syria chemical attack truther @DanielLMcAdams to reach Fairbanks, and Russia Today reporter @DanCohen3000 to reach Posobiec.
Footnote: since the duo of hyperkinetic trolls who latched onto this thread seems to be more interested in spamming already-debunked talking points and countering arguments no one is making, I have blocked them so that they may more effectively #KeepThatEchoChamberEchoing.
Read 5 tweets
Some early data for hashtags related to today's rally. #DemandFreeSpeech network is split between right-wing accounts promoting the event and left/center commentary; #AllOutDC is mostly traffic in favor of the counterprotest. Not much automation present.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Sadly the Laura Loomer fan club live stream has been interrupted and I am forced to embrace other options.
A high point of the #DefendFreeSpeech rally: dude dressed as a giant eyeball holding up a "DRAIN THE SWAMP = 911 TRUTH" sign. #AltWankers
Read 4 tweets
In the wake of the attacks on Andy Ngo at yesterday's counterdemonstration against the Proud Boys in Portland, the claim that the thrown milkshakes contained quick-drying cement has circulated widely on right-wing Twitter.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
As far as we can tell, the sole basis for the "cement milkshakes" story is this tweet from @PortlandPolice, which indicates they received one or more reports but doesn't confirm that any such thing actually took place.
We downloaded tweets containing "milkshake" or "milkshakes" and "cement", "concrete", or "chemical". The traffic takes off very suddenly and appears largely non-automated.
Read 6 tweets
Meet @FellowGoy, a mostly-automated "Honkler"/"Clown Pepe" account that recently canceled its support for the #YangGang in an automated fashion.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
The majority of @FellowGoy's tweets are automated via IFTTT, with a smattering of tweets posted via dlvr(dot)it as well as some potentially organic tweets by way of the Twitter website.
Most of @FellowGoy's automated tweets consist of links to dubious news sites with the headline copied. All the news sources are far-right Western sites (some new to us) with the exception of Russia Insider (which has publicly solicited submissions of anti-Semitic content.)
Read 7 tweets
Alt-right blogger Vox Day/Theodore Beale has taken to linking to Russia Today as a news source on topics various and sundry, making his site an interesting test case for studying the injection of Kremlin state media into the Western extreme right. #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Presently, RT is the third most frequently shared media source on Vox Day's blog (links to the author's own businesses/promotion thereof are excluded), but it wasn't always so. Back in 2012, the blog linked a mix of MSM and far-right Western sites, with a side of sci-fi.
We indexed the links to media websites on voxday . blogspot . com from 2012-01-01 through 2019-05-17 (10865 posts total.) The proportion of links to Russia Today increases over time in tandem with a decrease in mainstream sites; far-right Western sources are present throughout.
Read 6 tweets
An increasing number of tweets containing #Media4RestartLeader or #Restart_Opposition, many of them tagging Donald Trump, and also containing hashtags such as #MIGA ("Make Iran Great Again") have turned up recently in both English and Farsi.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
#Media4RestartLeader/#Restart_Opposition proved a bit tricky to investigate due to many of the tweets being absent from search results (shadowbans possibly?) In lieu of search, we used the followers & followers' followers of the accounts that did show up in searches as a dataset.
We ended up with 74903 tweets containing #Media4Restart Leader or #Restart_Opposition (some contain both) from 1044 accounts. 395 (37.8%) were created since the beginning of the year. Many have few followers, few tweets, and only 5.6% have changed their color scheme.
Read 8 tweets
Same concept, but for GOP and notable third party/independent candidates.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
First up: Libertarian candidate John McAfee. Accounts retweeting @officialmcafee also retweet Trump, a variety of #AltWankers such as @JackPosobiec, @PrisonPlanet, @CassandraRules, and @Cernovich, as well as @RT_com, @wikileaks, and @ggreenwald. They tweet mostly in English.
An interest in cryptocurrency shows up in both the hashtags used and media sites linked by accounts retweeting @officialmcafee. Other favorite sites include Reddit, Zerohedge, RT, and Wikileaks, and Assange/Wikileaks-related hashtags and #MAGA turn up frequently.
Read 7 tweets
Lurking among the consequences of the late Ayn Rand's literary career we find @atlasshrugs, an automated Twitter account named after her longest novel that pretty much does nothing but retweet anti-Islam blogger @PamelaGeller. #AynRandBedtimeStories #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Despite being named after a book about rugged individualism, @atlasshrugs is not unique; @AFDINational and @SIOAmerica tweet the same content (@PamelaGeller RTs) on the same schedule. All 3 post via dlvr . it; the majority of Geller's own tweets are automated via the same service
What do these accounts tweet about? Since they retweet @PamelaGeller, they specialize in anti-Islam propaganda and conspiracy theories. Almost all media links lead to Geller's own site.
Read 4 tweets
We decided to take a look at accounts that use the Honkler/Clown Pepe meme as a userpic (example shown here). First problem: how do we gather a set of Twitter accounts with similar pictures?

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We could train an image recognition model to find the Honkler images, but we'd need to already have a large set of examples. Instead, we took advantage of the fact that the meme has a very specific color scheme, and looked for images that shared it.
To test the color scheme, we transformed the image into a distribution of the colors used, normalized for brightness. Eight specific color tones (the Pepe green, red for the nose, and six colors of the rainbow) comprise the signature of the Honkler meme.
Read 11 tweets
In light of a recent encounter with an overly eager and frequently ignored purveyor of #WhiteGenocide conspiracy theories, we downloaded tweets containing the hashtag, resulting in 2443 from 757 accounts in the last 10 days. #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
The content of the #WhiteGenocide tweets consists largely of variations on the obvious theme, to the extent that there are multiple permutations of "it's ok to be white" present as hashtags. What do the accounts tweeting the hashtag look like?
Wordcloud for the most recent 3200 tweets from each of the 757 accounts with recent #WhiteGenocide tweets. Two themes are dominant: white people and Donald Trump. #DidWeMentionAltWankersYet #AltWankers
Read 9 tweets
On Wednesday, Unicorn Riot released leaks of far-right group Identity Evropa's Discord chats (thanks for that btw!) . We did some textual analysis of the private musings of this particular flock of #AltWankers. Here's what we found.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
First, some basic numbers. The dataset used consists of 241941 messages from 883 users spread across 17 channels, posted between September 2017 and March 2019. #AltWankers

(channel list screenshot taken from discordleaks.unicornriot.ninja/discord/serverā€¦ where you can browse the data yourself)
What does the content of an ongoing group dialogue betwixt #AltWankers look like? Whiteness, white people, and the amazingness thereof are unsurprisingly major themes. Trump, antifa, immigration, terrorism, and Russia also turn up, along with random asinine banter.
Read 6 tweets
Let's wander down the rabbithole of the use of the term "warmonger" and various permutations thereof on Twitter. Search terms included:

warmonger(s)
warmongerer(s)
war monger(s)
war mongerer(s)

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We'll start by looking at the use of warmonger etc in the data released by Twitter on accounts they identified as state-linked disinformation and subsequently removed. There are 1097 tweets containing warmonger in these datasets, mostly from accounts attributed to Russia or Iran.
Word clouds for tweets containing "warmonger" from the Russia-linked accounts respectively. US political figures along with "neocon" and "globalist" are prominent. #AltWankers such as PrisonPlanet, JackPosobiec, and StefanMolyneux also show up.
Read 9 tweets
A conspiracy theory alleging that Ilhan Omar is or was married to her brother has resurfaced among the #AltWankers of Twitter. Let's dig into its origins.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We downloaded all tweets containing "Ilhan", "Omar", and "brother". After removing a few early false positives, we found this tweet from @KandiRider linking a post promoting the conspiracy theory at powerlineblog(dot)dom, and added tweets linking it to the set.
This chart shows the first 20 accounts to tweet the Ilhan Omar marriage conspiracy theory, back in August 2016. Five of them (including the first, @Conservawonk) appear to be bots due to the fact that they post all their tweets via custom scripts/automation services.
Read 7 tweets
If you live in Omar's district, recommend changing the name of your wifi network to "FBI Surveillance Van" for the duration. You'll thank me later. #SurefireIntelligenceAdventureTime #AltWankers
BREAKING: The powerhouse detective duo of Laura Loomer and Jacob Wohl is on the verge of making the startling discovery that Rep. Omar relocated to DC upon being elected to Congress. #AltWankers #QuestionMore
Clearly the proper means of addressing this doubtless not at all fictional situation is for Jacob to run for office in Minnesota to own the libs.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Read 3 tweets
Post-Mortem Biography of a Bot: In Memory of Baked Alpacas
All good things come to an end sooner or later, and it appears to be that time for @BakedAlpacas, our first experiment with Twitter automation. #BuildTheAlpacaSanctuary
BakedAlpacas began life as a parody of Baked Alaska (and other #AltWankers), with tweets altered to be about alpacas rather than racist claptrap. After a period of hibernation, he took on a new mission: replying to tweets containing questions with the inquiry "Is this a quiz?"
Read 4 tweets
Somewhat surprisingly, anonymous message board and toxic wellspring of the internet 4chan has an API one can use to retrieve data. We decided to take a gander at /pol/ (the "politically incorrect" forum popular among #AltWankers). #ASeriesOfUn4ChanateEvents

cc: @ZellaQuixote
For those of you who may not be familiar with it, 4chan is unlike most internet forums/social media sites in that there are no user accounts - everyone is theoretically anonymous. That being said. . .
Like pretty much all websites, 4chan logs your IP address. What's more, its default behavior is to use this information to publicly tag your posts with country-of-origin. (Tip: use Tor or VPN when accessing sites and you want to mask your location.)
Read 9 tweets
Check out #RegimeChange4France, the latest goofy invention of far-right Twitter. This appears to be (among other things) a pro-LePen hashtag campaign being conducted largely by individuals who do not actually vote in France. #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We downloaded tweets containing #RegimeChange4France, resulting in 6849 tweets from 3602 accounts. The hashtag started midday Saturday 1/26. @JackPosobiec, @willchamberlain, and @CassandraRules are the most prominent nodes in the network.
Where did the #RegimeChange4France hashtag originate? The first tweet containing the hashtag is a reply to @JackPosobiec from @_YvonneBurton. Posobiec then purloins the hashtag and is the one to send it viral.
Read 7 tweets
Earlier today, several prominent right-wing accounts commented on a case of a supposed "antifa" shooter shot and killed by police after firing a weapon on school grounds. Not all is as it seems. #AltWankers

(archived copy of article: archive.is/zev2J)
cc: @ZellaQuixote
The actual shooting happened two weeks ago and doesn't appear to be politically motivated (suspect was involved in left-wing activism, but event happened while picking up his kid from school). How'd it end up trending on Twitter as a story about violent "antifa"?
We downloaded English-language tweets containing "antifa" and any of "gun", "eugene", or "school". We then removed early off-topic tweets, resulting in 4413 tweets from 3582 accounts. The topic took off today (1/28) but emerged 1/24.
Read 5 tweets

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