, 15 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Finished Reading the #MuellerReport. I want to highlight 3 things in the report and how they relate to the IRA (Senate data set) investigation that I was part of last year:
2/ #1 In the "Tactics and Tropes of the Internet Research Agency" report, it was important to me to focus on the *infiltration of movements & activation of Americans* who were identified and targeted. The Mueller report does that as well, noting repeated outreach via Messenger.
3/ From both far-left/far-right press there's been an ongoing "haha it was just some stupid memes" line.


The IRA went far beyond what a "social media agency" does. It leveraged techniques used by intelligence pros to target Americans, develop trust, get ppl to take action.
4/ When we think about how disinformation will spread in 2020, this kind of engagement with real, aligned Americans will likely be a big part of it. It's hard to identify this kind of activity.
5/ Since people have asked: Facebook didn't given SSCI any data on the persona accounts - I think the justification was 'privacy'. I'd been wondering if individual personas were operated by SVR or GRU accounts. The Mueller report says that IRA and GRU both ran sockpuppets.
6/ Point #2: IRL events. We've known about the Events for a long time but a few people were interested in the Confederate rally mentioned specifically in the report. Here's the visual for the Houston Confederate rally post in the footnote. I'll write more ab events later today.
7/ There were dozens of formal FB Events but they also occasionally put random event promos into Insta posts. There were tons of community events promoted on Black-community targeted FB pages. Instigating in-the-street action is another thing I would expect more of for 2020;
8/The Mueller report did a great job describing how the IRA prioritized getting people out into the street, carefully monitored results, had ppl take photos, etc. That's bc it's an important part of their operation. News coverage + incendiary images lead to emotional engagement.
9/ Point #3: Influencer manipulation. This is another tactic we wrote ab in the Tactics & Tropes report.

Many Trump campaign accounts retweeted IRA sockpuppets. Not mentioned in the Mueller report: the celebrity accounts, journalists, etc that also retweeted this stuff.
10/ Targeting influencers gets lift. Again, for all the "haha it was just some memes how could that have influenced anyone!" folks: POTUS retweeted one of them. His inner circle and aligned media amplified them dozens of times. Influencers do fall for this.
11/ The idea that people are somehow immune to manipulation because they're influential or educated - not true. This is just human nature. It's confirmation bias, feelings of affinity.

@SmarterEveryDay just did a great video on Twitter manipulation:
12/ Bonus points: Russian trolls meta-trolled America for a long time, particuarly on the far right, with "Blame Russia!" narratives that made fun of the very idea that Russia could be involved (and, when they got moderated, narratives that FB was censoring them).
13/ The IRA also pushed lies and conspiracies about Seth Rich, amplifying Julian Assange. They - coincidentally I'm sure - ginned up new accounts to target Hillary Clinton just before the big October drop.

Post on that here:
14/There are still ppl who don't believe Russia did anything, or can't separate "interference" from "collusion"; maybe the #MuellerReport will help them accept that the GRU hacks & IRA influence op really happened.

They did.

And whatever party you are, that should make you mad
15/ Thanks for reading this thread that was actually very short compared to other #MuellerReport threads.

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