Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D Profile picture
~@rvawonk@newsie.social~ Behavioral Scientist. Postdoc @ UMD. “Epistemic Superpredator.” Studying disinformation, cognitive security, crises. Opinions are mine.
Ella Sanders Profile picture Craig Copelan Profile picture FighttheG0PTALIBAN Profile picture eDo Profile picture Liz Profile picture 159 subscribed
Mar 28 7 tweets 2 min read
Since I’ve had some people ask about it, I’ll give you my very brief thoughts on the absolutely ridiculous conspiracy theories about the Key Bridge collapse.

Firstly, many of the people spreading the most outlandish claims don’t actually believe in them. It’s engagement bait. Secondly, we are at a point where any event that attracts a certain amount of attention is going to become a magnet for conspiracy theories & other forms of participatory disinformation. Most of the narratives are laundered — ie, they’re not new or unique to this event.
Mar 15 9 tweets 3 min read
I told you this was going to happen and now here we are.

In science, when we don’t understand something, we don’t assume that means it doesn’t exist. In medicine, if they don’t understand something, it doesn’t exist to them. It’s wild.
nypost.com/2024/03/14/lif… I didn’t think they’d start denying the existence of long COVID quite so soon, but it was clear it was coming.
Feb 3 10 tweets 5 min read
NEW: Russian state media is amplifying civil war rhetoric and promoting the Texas border convoy, and there’s evidence that accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency are being ‘reactivated’ to promote a Texas secessionist movement.

My latest:
weaponizedspaces.substack.com/p/russia-ampli…
Image Propaganda outlets RT & Sputnik, which together function as one of the major instruments of Russia’s disinformation machine, have been amplifying both sides of the border conflict — a tactic straight out of the disinfo playbook — and promoting the right-wing border convoy.
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Jan 26 5 tweets 2 min read
Trump is openly calling for states to take up arms against the federal government, which is as close to calling for civil war as you can get without actually using the words. This is an alarming escalation and this situation could spiral out of control very, very quickly. Image Some essential reading regarding Trump, Abbott, Texas, and the threat of civil war:
Jan 15 8 tweets 2 min read
There’s been a lot of academic debate about mis/disinformation recently — a refreshing change from the usual discourse in this area — but something I’ve noticed is that everyone argues their POV based on a very specific definition of misinfo that doesn’t usually align w/ reality. Exposure to misinfo on its own, in the absence of other factors, is not that impactful or persuasive usually. BUT people often aren’t exposed to misinformation in isolation. It comes along with things like changes in social network, social norms, or external events like war.
Jan 13 6 tweets 4 min read
Since Roger Stone is trending (again) for his violent rhetoric, a brief reminder that Stone has repeatedly made explicit calls for violence, including this one just a day before the 2020 election, when he said “f*ck the voting, let’s get right to the violence.” Roger Stone also warned of “a spasm of violence — an insurrection” all the way back in August 2017. This was always the plan if anyone tried to remove Trump from office, even if it was through the electoral process.
Jan 6 8 tweets 2 min read
When we talk about influence campaigns, we usually think about foreign influence, but what just happened at Harvard (and MIT & Penn) *was* an influence campaign -- defined as a large-scale campaign, often carried out in bad faith, that seeks to shift public opinion. Just like foreign influence campaigns, domestic political influence campaigns like the ones targeting higher ed are often rooted in some degree of truth. But most of all (& by definition), they are rooted in deception and manipulation -- and that's the part we need to focus on.
Jan 4 4 tweets 1 min read
Somehow I’m just learning tonight that King George V was involuntarily euthanized in Jan. 1936 by his physician, who injected the king with 750mg of morphine and a gram of cocaine — enough, apparently, to kill him twice over. The king had never consented to this. Apparently the king’s final words were not “How is the empire?” — as was reported in news stories — but rather, “God damn you!”

Damn.
dappledthings.org/deep-down-thin…
Jan 3 10 tweets 3 min read
The state Capitol complexes in 5 states — Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana & Michigan — have been evacuated following bomb threats.

This is how accelerationists operate and today’s escalation could be the start of what we’ve been warning about.
nbcnews.com/politics/polit… Watch for events like this to be paired with disinformation campaigns and both physical and cyber attacks targeting critical infrastructure, particularly power and telecom infrastructure. When those events start to co-occur regularly, you’ll know it has started.
Jan 3 4 tweets 1 min read
With everything going on in higher ed, most recently at Harvard, it’s crucial that the media handles these situations responsibly and doesn’t fall into the “both sides” trap — especially when one side of the story is a billionaire-funded disinfo campaign & the other side… isn’t. If you’re covering this story without mentioning 1) who is involved in spearheading the campaign; 2) that it’s not a grassroots effort, but rather a carefully orchestrated political operation; 3) that it’s part of a years-long right-wing campaign, then you’re doing a disservice.
Jan 1 5 tweets 1 min read
As we close out 2023, I want to say thank you to those of you who have supported me & my work, and provided words of encouragement & opportunity when they were needed the most. It’s not easy to do this work. It’s not easy to be targeted every single day. But you make it worth it. Seeing your messages of encouragement in my DM’s and replies means the world to me. I especially appreciate those of you with whom I often disagree, but nonetheless have civil conversations with that are grounded in respect and decency. The world needs more of you.
Dec 9, 2023 9 tweets 4 min read
Regardless of how flawed Liz Magill may have been and how much she might have messed up, you need to understand that the people cheering on her resignation don’t care about antisemitism — they care about suppressing academic freedom, and they’ll keep going until you stop them. Image Elise Stefanik doesn’t care about antisemitism on college campuses. She’s just cynically seizing onto a hot topic in order to advance her own political interests — just like she has cynically promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories when *that* was politically advantageous.

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Dec 9, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
This is horrific. IDF attacked Al-Nasr hospital, ordered them to evacuate, and promised that they were sending ambulances to get the children from the hospital.

But those ambulances never came, and those children died alone as a result. There’s satellite imagery confirming that Al-Nasr was under attack, and an IDF (COGAT) officer was recorded saying that it would be “no problem” to get the ambulances to the hospital to evacuate the children. This is evidence that is quite hard to refute.
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Dec 9, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
There have been a lot of polls & surveys recently that have returned some really startling/wild/attention-grabbing responses, and I think it’s worth asking whether polls still mean what they did 20 years ago & whether we should take the results at face value.

My POV is no & no. I honestly think we have to consider how the influence of social media has re-socialized young people to say extreme things and endorse extreme positions because it’s what gets rewarded. There are extremely powerful algorithms reinforcing this behavior all day, every day.
Dec 7, 2023 6 tweets 1 min read
I’m quote tweeting these because I want to show you how many people are calling it “disgusting” and “appalling” that I am disputing the exact same claim that IDF itself disputed as “propaganda” yesterday. Sorry you wanted the atrocity propaganda to be true. Like, it’s literally not a falsehood. Hamas is not holding women as sex slaves. They raped women, without a doubt, and that’s a heinous war crime. But that’s also a different claim than saying they’re keeping women hostages to rape them, which IDF disputes as well.
Dec 6, 2023 11 tweets 3 min read
Damn it. Glenn Greenwald made a post that I don’t hate. Help. The issue of censorship on campus is playing out in this very fraught international political environment but it’s roots go much farther back. You can’t interpret today’s testimony in isolation if you’re actually trying to honestly understand what’s going on.
Dec 6, 2023 7 tweets 3 min read
They’re basically doing the same thing that was done to black men in America— portraying them as animalistic sexual predators preying on white women, specifically — in order to justify lynching them. It’s true, sorry if it sucks to hear. Content warning for a very graphic description of lynching, but the description is directly related to the reason black men had to be portrayed as sexual predators & savages — because that was the only way to justify the brutal violence inflicted on them.
jimcrowmuseum.ferris.edu/brute/homepage…

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Dec 3, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Let. The. Women. Tell. Their. Own. Stories.

Stop exploiting their trauma for your own political purposes. We all see what you’re doing; it’s just that some of us are willing to say it out loud, because we’re tired of men using our bodies as battlegrounds. Women’s trauma isn’t a weapon for you to use at your convenience.
Dec 2, 2023 6 tweets 3 min read
Can anyone name a major conflict where rape wasn’t used as a weapon of war? Of course the accounts of Israeli women are true. Rape during wartime is more common than the absence of it. Denying this reality betrays history. “While the nature of the conflicts in each country differs vastly, the horrifying use of sexual violence to torment civilian populations; punish ethnic, political, or cultural rivals; and assert and maintain control, is present in each case.”
thinkglobalhealth.org/article/devast…
Dec 2, 2023 18 tweets 3 min read
In the past few years, a lot of for-profit companies and even interest groups have jumped on the anti-disinformation bandwagon. And I’m sure some do good work. But many … just don’t. And who is evaluating the methods used by these orgs, and verifying their findings?

No one. This wouldn’t pass the smell test in nearly any other industry. It’s just a bunch of self-declared experts — many of whom *are* skilled in tech/computing but have no training in psyc, media, behavior, comms, advertising, sociology, PR, etc — asking you to just trust them.
Nov 26, 2023 12 tweets 3 min read
Something that I want to talk about but don’t know how is that it’s terrifyingly easy to rewrite little pieces of history and induce false memories — and generative AI is making it MUCH easier to do on a much larger scale — and those little pieces of history add up very quickly. Sometimes I think we’re witnessing trial runs or attempts to test the boundaries to see how much people can be manipulated before they realize what’s happening — ie, when they realize history is being distorted. But no one is really saying “hey stop”, so it’s … not stopping.