Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #AltWankers

Most recents (24)

In one of the least surprising developments ever, 4chan/alt-right trolls are still creating fake left-wing Twitter accounts with GAN-generated faces as profile pics, such as @BlueVotedJenn (ID 1386808499414441984). #AltWankers #ASeriesOfUn4chanateEvents

cc: @ZellaQuixote
The @BlueVotedJenn account established itself as "liberal" via early tweets denouncing climate change and the GOP (and praising CNN), and subsequntly pivoted to alt-right trolling (multiple forms of bigotry, attacks on Fauci, etc).
Although the operator of the @BlueVotedJenn account cropped its profile image so that the facial features no longer have the telltale positioning seen in GAN-generated face pics, other artifacts remain (nonsense earring and hair in the lower right corner, for example).
Read 4 tweets
Twitter permanently banned @gatewaypundit yesterday. With it gone, here's what the retweet network for thegatewaypundit(dot)com looks like: two main clusters (English and Japanese), and the main nodes are @mei98862477, @kirstiealley, and @CassandraRules.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Japanese-language accounts have been turning up prominently in US-centric right wing Twitter content for a while. Back in January 2020, 23.3% of tweets linking now-defunct QAnon site qmap(dot)pub were in Japanese.
Around the time of the November 2020 US election, Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and Rudy Giuliani all experienced a large influx of Japanese-language followers. #KrakenWorldTour2020
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It's the day before Halloween, and a #MAGA account by the name of @PepeNewsNow has racked up over 16K followers in its 16 days of existence. We took a look at them, and found a couple of interesting anomalies. #FridayFeeling #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
For starters, a disproportionate number of @PepeNewsNow's followers (6182 of 16701, 37%) were created in March 2020 or later. We've seen this pattern before among #MAGA Twitter accounts, but have not seen the same phenomenon among left-leaning accounts.
Secondly, a lot of @PepeNewsNow's followers (2090 of 16701, 12.5%) have either never tweeted or have yet to tweet in 2020. Despite their apparent dormancy, they woke up in decent numbers to follow an account created in October 2020.
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Meet @walters19901693, an American who supports real news, lives in Texas, loves Donald Trump, and wants the US Army to shoot protestors who remove Confederate statues. #AltWankers #TuesdayThoughts

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Back in November 2019, @walters19901693 also supported real news, but was an African living in Spain rather than an American living Texas. It also had only 10 followers rather than the 2000+ it now boasts.
web.archive.org/web/2019111719…
Things get more confusing when one looks at @walters19901693's tweets, several of which appear to be claiming to live somewhere in Africa rather than Spain or Texas. Prior to 2020 this account mostly tweeted about events in Africa, but has since pivoted heavily to #MAGA content.
Read 5 tweets
"Antifa" and "Soros" have been trending perennially since the beginning of the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd, as #MAGA Twitter accounts exploit the situation to advance various narratives about leftist violence and paid protestors. #AltWankers

cc @ZellaQuixote
We captured 24 hours of tweets containing "antifa" or "Soros" (the narratives overlap sufficiently that we elected to combine them.) Automation doesn't appear to be a major factor, although right-wing retweet spambot @ImmoralReport turns up as usual (the "StopMadness2" app.)
The media sources linked from 5/29 tweets about antifa or Soros are mostly English-language right-wing conspiracy sites, including #QAnon site qmap(dot)pub. German tabloid Bild also turns up prominently.
Read 5 tweets
The seventh installment of the ongoing series of #InItTogether QAnon spam campaigns is underway. We're taking notes, of course. #FridayFeeling #QAnonsense #AltWankers

cc: @ZellaQuixote
They managed to (mostly) start at the correct time. 2124 accounts posted 7923 tweets containing both #InItTogether and #JusticeIsComing in the first ten minutes of the spam campaign, mostly via organic-looking sources.
Twenty minutes in, let's take a look at languages. The bulk of the tweets are English, but there's a noticeable Japanese presence as well; 509 tweets (3.9% of total) from 155 accounts (5.5% of total) thus far. Most of the "unknown" tweets consist of only the hashtags and a meme.
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A who's who of conspiracy theorists have been attempting to spin portions of a recently released transcript of #Crowdstrike president Shawn Henry's 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee as evidence that the DNC emails weren't stolen via a hack.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
(More on the supposed "bombshell" revelation here - it's based on selective readings of small portions of the transcript.)
The #Crowdstrike traffic is being driven by fringe journalists (mostly right-wing, with the exception of the most-retweeted account, @aaronjmate), #QAnon influencers (@tracybeanz, @prayingmedic), and @rexxurection, the 5th incarnation of a popular fake #MAGA account.
Read 6 tweets
#FlagsOutForFlynn (accompanied by #InItTogether) trended yesterday (May 1, 2020) due to a barrage of tweets that began at 2:17 PM Pacific Time. Although very little of the traffic appears to be automated, the sudden spike sure looks coordinated. What happened?

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Answer: the May 1st #FlagsOutForFlynn/#InItTogether spam was announced the previous day by #QAnon account @elenochle. The announcement received thousands of retweets and was also copied numerous times. Does "Operation #InItTogether ROUND 6" mean there were previous tweetstorms?
Yes indeed. Round 5, for example, took place on 4/24 and consisted of spamming an armed Pepe The Frog meme accompanied by the hashtags #InItTogether and @WWG1WGA. Once again, the campaign was announced by @elenochle. The presence of Japanese Q accounts is interesting. #AltWankers
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#MAGA Twitter has been abuzz the last few days with renewed interest in Michael Flynn and fresh demands for his exoneration or pardon. The cause appears to be a filing by Flynn's attorneys alleging that Flynn was framed. #AltWankers #Flynnvestigation

cc: @ZellaQuixote
An impressive 933633 tweets containing "Flynn" were posted from 4/24 through 4/27. The trend doesn't appear to be bot-driven; instead, it looks like a concerted effort from multiple high-volume right-wing accounts (@JackPososbiec, @thebradfordfile, etc.)
Unsurprisingly, the news sites linked from recent Flynn-related tweets are mostly right-leaning, with the Federalist being the most common. #HumanScum is the most oft-used hashtag, with various #QAnon and #Flynn-related hashtags occupying most of the rest of the top spots.
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Right-wing groups have been organizing protests against the stay-at-home/quarantine orders put into place by various states to combat the spread of the novel #coronavirus. We took a look at the hashtags promoting these events. #AltWankers #Covidiocy

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We downloaded a week's worth of tweets containing all permutations of #Open, #OpenUp, #Reopen, #Liberate, or #Free followed by a state name (250 hashtags total), yielding 55095 tweets from 34787 accounts. #FreeMichigan was first to achieve significant volume, on April 15th.
Which states do hashtag-happy Twitter accounts want reopened so that citizens may exercise their hypothetical right to contract and spread #COVID19 unhindered? Texas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia were the most frequently hashtagged.
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Michigan's @GovWhitmer didn't actually reverse a non-existent policy banning hydroxychloroquine for COVID19 patients but Fox News (and others) didn't waste the chance to dissemble a Democratic administration's actual statement and intent for political purposes.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
(Here's the memo from the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that's being misconstrued as a now-reversed gubernatorial decree banning hydroxycholoroquine - it's actually guidance intended to prevent a shortage that has now happened.)michigan.gov/documents/lara…
We downloaded tweets containing at least one term from each list, yielding 73726 tweets from 40972 accounts:

- malaria, malarial, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, hydrochoroquine (sic)
- michigan, Whitmer, "MI governor"
- coronavirus/COVID-19/rona/SARS-COV-2
Read 8 tweets
We started looking at #coronavirus discussion on reddit, using pushshift's Reddit search API to gather all Reddit posts and comments containing coronavirus, COVID-19, or corona-chan (and variations) since the beginning of the year.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
(documentation on pushshift's Reddit search API, for those wishing to explore themselves)
github.com/pushshift/api
The subreddits with the most #coronavirus content mostly fall into a few categories:

- coronavirus-specific forums
- general news forums
- memes
- automated news feeds
- interesting outliers: /r/conspiracy, /r/ChapoTrapHouse

Also, something's botty in /r/TalkativePeople...
Read 9 tweets
Yes, Seth Rich/#SethRich is trending again. What's that about? Not bots, by and large - only about 0.5% of the traffic looks automated. The cast of characters involved is interesting, though. . .

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote Today's #SethRich trend is primarily driven by @JudicialWatch (amusingly, one of the few automated accounts in the mix), which announced today that it filed a FOIA for FBI records related to Rich's death. Other major blue-check #MAGA accounts joined the party. #AltWankers
@ZellaQuixote @JudicialWatch Also joining the party are @GregRubini, a possibly inauthentic right-wing conspiracy account we recently analyzed, and former Power10 account @TheRightMelissa. @HKrassenstein is the most prominent left-wing node, with a tweet attributing the trend to "Russian bots" sans evidence.
Read 7 tweets
Due to happenstance, we ran across a bunch of right-wing Twitter accounts with 🐻 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 🐻 in their profiles.
@ZellaQuixote @OwenComedy The 🐻 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 Trump’s weekend medical encounter was the result of an assassination attempt via poison has been making the rounds in some sectors of #MAGA Twitter. What’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 protegé @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.
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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. They’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.
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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 Gorka’s tweets in real time (more or less), resulting in schedules similar to Gorka’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 Gorka’s Twitter feed for those who are blocked by Gorka (although simply logging out or using an alternate account accomplishes the same goal.)
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#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 @ZoomerClips’ 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.
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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/upl…

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/upl…
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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.
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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
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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.)
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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.
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