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David Videcette @DavidVidecette
, 20 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Anyone who is talking about the completely illogical ‘Twitter Scandal’ of more ‘Russian interference’ in elections should read how The Times actually identified the ‘Russian bots supporting Jeremy Corbyn.’

Russian interference…
But if you don’t want to read it, I’ll save you the agony and break it down for you:

“Swansea University passed The Sunday Times 20,000 general-election-related tweets sent in the four weeks leading up to the vote by accounts that gave their language or location as Russian.”
The first question I’m asking myself here is, who is paying Swansea for this research, and why? I work exstensively with the media, and they don’t like paying at the best of times, let alone fund speculative research like this. PR campaigns are funded though, is this news or PR?
If you don’t understand what PR is, look it up, but this is from Wiki:

“Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.”
That’s our first hurdle when deceding on the veracity of these allegations - Is this news, or is someone literally funding a PR campaign against Russia, and is it being dressed up as news by The Times?
There are plenty of groups out there who have the motive to do this in our media. The Times of course may or may not know that it is a PR campaign. Perhaps they’ve done no due diligence on the reports author, and if they did, felt that his background wasn’t worthy of mention?
I looked him up. The Professor at Swansea university who has conducted this ‘research’ is Oleksandr Talavera, the same man that was pushing the idea that the Russians interfered via twitter in the Brexit referendum. The same man said the Russians interfered in the US election.
Talevera is Ukrainian. He is one the of co-founders of ‘, an independent analytical platform’ - a Ukrainian ‘think tank’ which has regular tie ups with The Atlantic Council.
The Atlantic Council are infamously anti-Russian. They ‘unmasked’ what they claimed was a Russian bot only to find it to be a man from Croydon last week. Undeterred, they now call him a Kremlin troll.
So, this already starts to look odd for me. We have the same researcher, continuously saying the same thing about different ejections, and he may have a certain bias? Am I the only one smelling a rat?
The second hurdle though is the evidence. The analysed sample relates to 20,000 tweets, over a 4 WEEK PERIOD:

On average, there are 350,000 tweets every minute, 500 million per day, or around 200 billion tweets per year. - 6,000 tweets every second.

So the sample is very small.
According to my maths, this sample represents, something in the region of 0.00033% of twitters traffic over a four week period.
Let’s look at how they identified the 20,000 sample tweets:

“A Twitter account’s primary language is not usually clearly visible on a Twitter profile, but the data obtained by Swansea included that crucial detail.”
So, if you had any Russian language in your bio, or mentioned Russia, or mentioned a Russian place in your bio, you likely made it onto the Swansea Russian Bot list. That is literally how they’ve selected the accounts.
Who set these accounts up? They don’t sound very covert? Are they parodies, or are they even part of this anti-Russian PR campaign, set up by the very same people pushing the same anti-Russian narrative over and over again?
“A team of researchers then painstakingly analysed each tweet to determine whether the user had posted positive or negative messages about any of the major parties.”

Someone lierally went through each of the 20k tweets by hand?
If it took someone a minute to read abc analyse each tweet, that’s 8 weeks worth of work based on a 40 hour week. Even if you halved it, that’s over a month looking at these tweets.

The Times didn’t pay for this, they wouldn’t, it would be prohibitively expensive.
For me it fails on every level I’ve looked at. Partisan researcher, pushing the same message over and over, using flawed research methods which are designed to illicit a certain response. On top of this there is also the question of opaque funds to carry it out...
No, in short, and in my most ungraded language, you can stick this where the sun doesn’t shine.

It’s utter nonsense and has no integrity.

Why aren’t our media questioning this more?
I’m really sorry about the spelling mistakes on this thread.
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