Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D Profile picture
Mother. Wife. #Feminist. Behavioral Scientist. Researcher/Writer. She/Her/Dr. Studying disinformation, health, & your brain.
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26 Jul
(!!!) “The Times also found that the agency has a separate program that uses schoolchildren’s grades, attendance records and abuse histories to label them potential future criminals.”
Once a person is placed on the list of likely criminals based largely on nebulous intelligence, “Deputies showed up at [their] homes at all hours of the day and night, writing tickets for violations like overgrown grass and making arrests for any reason they could find.”
10% of the people the Sheriff’s office targeted in this program were children!!!
Read 6 tweets
24 Jul
This little bit about an AI chatbot begging for its human operator to save its life when it started to break down is seriously messing with my head. (h/t @Avi_Bueno).… Image
It’s from this piece, about a guy who built an AI bot to simulate conversations with his dead fiancé.

A lot going on there.…
Yes, this. The bot wasn’t programmed to beg for its life; it just knew to do it based on what it learned about humans.
Read 6 tweets
20 Jul
I don’t know yet what explains Fox News’ & Rudy Giuliani’s deliberate attempt to appear supportive of the COVID vaccine, but I do know how conspiracy theories work, and this will be seen by much of their audience as proof of a pro-vaccine conspiracy theory, not genuine support.
They’ve been fomenting distrust of the vaccine for months. Just like you, their viewers will see this “shift” and wonder what’s up — and many will see it as “proof” of the vaccine industry’s power and influence. Very, very few people will be persuaded by it.
Also, listen to what other messages they’re promoting. For example, Hannity is still spreading anti-vaccine propaganda, despite his attempt to briefly appear supportive of the vaccine.
Read 15 tweets
15 Jul
Oh. Wow. Newly leaked Kremlin documents apparently show that Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Trump in the 2016 election. The documents also discuss “kompromat” Russia has on Trump.…
The leaked documents describe as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex.”

They also describe him as the “most promising candidate” from the Kremlin’s perspective. Image
“There is also apparent confirmation that the Kremlin possesses kompromat, or potentially compromising material, on the future president, collected – the document says – from Trump’s earlier ‘non-official visits to Russian Federation territory.’” Image
Read 6 tweets
14 Jul
So I try not to complain about this b/c overall I’m very lucky, but … the long-term effects of COVID-19 are terrible and have severely impacted my quality of life. I haven’t enjoyed food for well over a year, medications I’ve taken for 10+ years suddenly don’t work…
I also have new vision problems and at times, pretty severe (new) nerve pain/numbness in my extremities. I can’t say for sure that these were caused by COVID, but I can say that I didn’t have any of these symptoms before I got COVID (and I’m young(ish) and otherwise healthy).
We spend so much time focusing on COVID deaths — and rightly so — but we should really be talking more about the long-term effects, even in people who had relatively mild illness, like me. Those “mild” cases may not look so mild in a year, a decade, etc.
Read 5 tweets
6 Jul
NEW: Russian government hackers associated w/ Cozy Bear breached the computer systems of the Republican National Committee last week, around the time a Russia-linked group unleashed a massive ransomware attack.…
A spokesman for the RNC claims "There is no indication the RNC was hacked or any RNC information was stolen."

I guess we'll see!
Re. Russia’s new hack of the RNC: Let’s not forget that this isn’t the first time major Republican Party groups and campaigns have been hacked by Russia in recent years. But Republicans refused to admit it, and apparently also failed to bolster their cybersecurity sufficiently.
Read 5 tweets
6 Jul
In a newly unsealed indictment, Fi Duong — a Northern Virginia man and a member of an unnamed militia group who surveiled the U.S. Capitol in the weeks following Jan. 6 — admits he dressed in “all black” when he was at the Capitol in an effort to look like he was part of antifa. Image
A reminder that the Oath Keepers were hoping antifa would confront them and start a fight so Trump could invoke the Insurrection Act. It would not surprise me if they had people posing as antifa to try to infiltrate & instigate/incite violence.
Far-right activists have also been known to create fake antifa social media accounts to spread disinformation, which at times has included threats of violence.

These are some of the accounts I tracked back in 2017; they’re pretty much all wiped, but new ones pop up frequently. ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
3 Jul
“They told officials they were on their way to Maine from Rhode Island for ‘training,’ Col. Christopher Mason said.”
The group is not anti-government, anti-police, or sovereign citizens, according to the leader of the group. They call themselves “Rise of the Moors”. They claim to be American nationals but not US citizens. They have a Moroccan flag.
This is who we’re talking about, though they reject the “sovereign citizens” label.…
Read 9 tweets
28 Jun
Sen. Ron Johnson held a forum today to highlight adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. Asked about it on Friday, he said that he’s not anti-vaccine and that he’s just asking questions, which is also what nearly all anti-vaccine activists say, so … (…).
This is why I’ve been concerned about the lab leak debate. Although they’re two very different scenarios, many of the so-called “lab leak proponents” are taking an approach that similarly weaponizes scientific uncertainty and looks an awful lot like “just asking questions”.
Lab leak proponents have also used another tactic commonly used by anti-vaccine activists, which involves making unreasonable & unattainable demands for scientific evidence to “prove” them wrong, then citing the absence of that evidence as grounds to “keep asking questions.”
Read 10 tweets
28 Jun
Virologist Danielle Anderson — who just yesterday spoke out about her experience working at the Wuhan lab — says she didn’t speak out earlier because she was targeted by extremists last year after exposing COVID-19 misinformation online.…
It’s a serious problem, and although extremists clearly pose a unique threat in terms of potential for violence, there’s also a problem with Twitter mobs piling on scientists they disagree with, misrepresenting their words, and making other scientists hesitant to speak out.
There’s also a problematic pattern among followers of some very influential but fringe-y scientists to attack other scientists in their defense. These are usually politically- or ideologically-motivated (not scientifically motivated) attacks, often fueled by conspiracy theories.
Read 5 tweets
27 Jun
It’s been over 24 hours since @WHO recommended mask use even for vaccinated people, and I haven’t seen or heard anything from @CDCgov or any US health officials addressing this new recommendation. If we expect people to follow public health guidance, we have to do better.
Yesterday a @WHO official said that even vaccinated people can’t feel safe and need to protect themselves. This is sending an unclear message. If the vaccines work, why can’t vaccinated people feel safe?

Consider how the anti-vaccine crowd will use this statement. Image
You can’t leave these huge areas of uncertainty unaddressed. The anti-vaccine movement is successful, in large part, because of their ability to weaponize uncertainty — so a major goal of vaccine-related messaging should be to minimize uncertainty. Not to increase it!
Read 7 tweets
26 Jun
jfc. Trump was so serious about using military force against protesters that WH aides prepared a draft proclamation last June to invoke the Insurrection Act to allow him to deploy active-duty soldiers in response to protests after George Floyd’s death.…
The draft was prepared for him to invoke the Insurrection Act to deploy troops against protesters in DC, but he apparently kept pushing for months to use the Insurrection Act to quash protests in Chicago, New York, Portland, and elsewhere.
That Trump was actively pushing to use the Insurrection Act in 2020 gives incredibly important new meaning to the fact that some of the indicted Capitol rioters stated that they were there to serve as Trump’s army if he invoked the Act.
Read 4 tweets
25 Jun
I wish we could put an end to the trend of re-posting far-right agitprop from Gab, Telegram, etc. onto Twitter. Yes, it’s important to track this stuff and, yes, some of it is worth a wider discussion, but if you’re re-posting that stuff everyday, you’re just amplifying them.
What’s the point of deplatforming racists and far-right agitators if a bunch of people are just going to re-post their Gab/Telegram stuff on Twitter for them? If you really oppose what these people are saying, don’t be their microphone.
Same thing with Fox News/Tucker Carlson. Yes, it’s important to keep an eye on what Fox/Tucker are saying, because it’s reaching millions of people. But there are ways of keeping people informed about that without giving them free advertising every single night.
Read 5 tweets
24 Jun
NEW: Rudy Giuliani’s license to practice law was just suspended.…
“…we conclude that there is uncontroverted evidence that [Rudy Giuliani] communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large … in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.”
So Rudy Giuliani’s law license was suspended over disinformation he spread about the 2020 election. Let’s look at look at all the disinfo cited in this court motion.

First: His false claims that in PA, more absentee ballots came in during the election than were sent out.
Read 18 tweets
24 Jun
Details of the genetic makeup of some of the earliest samples of coronavirus in China were removed from an American database where they were initially stored at the request of Chinese researchers, U.S. officials confirmed.…
This means that scientists investigating the origins of the novel coronavirus might be working with the wrong samples. So that’s interesting.
This kind of gradual acknowledgment of facts from a year-and-a-half ago is not how you want to handle a situation that is already rife with conspiracy theories. They need to get out in front of this stuff instead of waiting until afterwards.
Read 7 tweets
23 Jun
Wow this is bad: According to a new Global Witness report, Facebook’s recommendation algorithm is still amplifying Myanmar military propaganda and other material that breaches company policies, including posts that incite & threaten violence.…
The context here, of course, is that Facebook has been found to have played a critical role in inciting and fueling the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar. And its own algorithms are *still* amplifying posts that threaten violence in Myanmar and glorify abuses by the military.
I’m Feb., Facebook said it was removing all remaining Myanmar military and military-controlled pages following coup in which the military removed elected leaders from power and jailed others.…
Read 6 tweets
22 Jun
#BREAKING: The Saudi operatives who killed Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 had received paramilitary training in the U.S. under a contract approved by the State Department.…
The training for the operatives who killed Khashoggi was provided by a company called Tier 1 Group, which is owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. In May 2018, Trump tapped the head of Cerberus to lead his Intelligence Advisory Board.…
His name is Stephen Feinberg. Shortly after taking office, Trump reportedly asked Feinberg to conduct a sweeping review of US intel agencies, but he hadn't yet been cleared by the US Office of Govt Ethics.

Bannon was a supporter of Feinberg and helped put him in front of Trump.
Read 11 tweets
22 Jun
NEW: Speaker Pelosi just announced to the Steering and Policy Committee that she will create a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, per @CNN.
This is big news. Republicans won’t accept the findings because they’ll claim it is politically-driven, but they had a chance to have an independent commission and they rejected it. This gets us a lot closer to a chance of actually uncovering Republicans’ role in 1/6.
Yep, that didn’t take long. The dishonesty doesn’t surprise me anymore, but it’s still shocking nonetheless.

Pelosi *did* try to work with Republicans and they refused!
Read 4 tweets
22 Jun
Oh wow, the US government has seized dozens of US website domains connected to Iran, including PressTV. The websites are linked to what the US says are disinformation campaigns.…
This is what you see if you try to go to PressTV (or any of the domains they seized) right now:
Iran has allegedly stepped up its disinformation targeting the US recently. This includes anti-Semitic messages, as well as disinformation surrounding events like the Derek Chauvin trial, Israel-Gaza conflict, and the Iran Nuclear Deal.…
Read 10 tweets
20 Jun
Anti-government extremist Ammon Bundy — who helped his dad Cliven Bundy lead an armed standoff against the government at their ranch, then led an armed takeover of a wildlife refuge — just announced his run for Idaho governor.

This will become a pattern.…
I worry sometimes that we focus so much on national politics that we lose sight of what’s going on at the state and local level. Yes, Biden is POTUS, but pro-Trump extremists and conspiracy theorists are taking over state & local Republican parties.
Just to give you an idea of how things are going for Republicans in Idaho, this is an Idaho RNC delegate in Washington on Jan. 5th, posing with Don Jr. and promoting Stop the Steal.
Read 6 tweets
19 Jun
This is interesting: The FBI asked alleged Capitol rioter Thomas Webster about his ties to any congressional staffers or members of Congress — an indication that the investigation may be focusing on possible “complicity” of sitting members of Congress.…
If they go down that road, they will absolutely find (Republican) members of Congress who have ties to the Proud Boys and other extremist groups who participated in the Capitol riot, and who were looped into the planning of Jan. 6th.
Remember that some of the biggest conservative donors & mainstream Republican orgs were involved in the planning of Jan. 6. This wasn’t some fringe element of the Republican Party going rogue; this was an orchestrated, methodical, donor-backed event planned months ahead of time.
Read 8 tweets