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Fri Feb 7, 2020, 11:42 AM

The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect Trump

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-2020-disinformation-war/605530/

. . .

The story that unfurled in my Facebook feed over the next several weeks was, at times, disorienting. There were days when I would watch, live on TV, an impeachment hearing filled with damning testimony about the president’s conduct, only to look at my phone later and find a slickly edited video—served up by the Trump campaign—that used out-of-context clips to recast the same testimony as an exoneration. Wait, I caught myself wondering more than once, is that what happened today?

As I swiped at my phone, a stream of pro-Trump propaganda filled the screen: “That’s right, the whistleblower’s own lawyer said, ‘The coup has started …’ ” Swipe. “Democrats are doing Putin’s bidding …” Swipe. “The only message these radical socialists and extremists will understand is a crushing …” Swipe. “Only one man can stop this chaos …” Swipe, swipe, swipe.

I was surprised by the effect it had on me. I’d assumed that my skepticism and media literacy would inoculate me against such distortions. But I soon found myself reflexively questioning every headline. It wasn’t that I believed Trump and his boosters were telling the truth. It was that, in this state of heightened suspicion, truth itself—about Ukraine, impeachment, or anything else—felt more and more difficult to locate. With each swipe, the notion of observable reality drifted further out of reach.

. . .

After the 2016 election, much was made of the threats posed to American democracy by foreign disinformation. Stories of Russian troll farms and Macedonian fake-news mills loomed in the national imagination. But while these shadowy outside forces preoccupied politicians and journalists, Trump and his domestic allies were beginning to adopt the same tactics of information warfare that have kept the world’s demagogues and strongmen in power.

. . .

The Trump campaign is planning to spend more than $1 billion, and it will be aided by a vast coalition of partisan media, outside political groups, and enterprising freelance operatives. These pro-Trump forces are poised to wage what could be the most extensive disinformation campaign in U.S. history. Whether or not it succeeds in reelecting the president, the wreckage it leaves behind could be irreparable.

THE DEATH STAR
The campaign is run from the 14th floor of a gleaming, modern office tower in Rosslyn, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. Glass-walled conference rooms look out on the Potomac River. Rows of sleek monitors line the main office space. Unlike the bootstrap operation that first got Trump elected—with its motley band of B-teamers toiling in an unfinished space in Trump Tower—his 2020 enterprise is heavily funded, technologically sophisticated, and staffed with dozens of experienced operatives. One Republican strategist referred to it, admiringly, as “the Death Star.”

Presiding over this effort is Brad Parscale, a 6-foot-8 Viking of a man with a shaved head and a triangular beard. As the digital director of Trump’s 2016 campaign, Parscale didn’t become a household name like Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway. But he played a crucial role in delivering Trump to the Oval Office—and his efforts will shape this year’s election.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect Trump (Original post)
CousinIT Feb 7 OP
empedocles Feb 7 #1
DeminPennswoods Feb 7 #2
Dream Girl Feb 7 #3
DeminPennswoods Feb 7 #4
Buns_of_Fire Feb 7 #7
magicarpet Feb 7 #5
superpatriotman Feb 7 #6

Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:00 PM

1. Huge

That is why traitortrump and Moscow mitch worked so hard for 'acquittal'.

Not want voters to see headlines and chyrons about TRUMP IMPEACHMENT. Want mostly 'cons messages.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:03 PM

2. Just don't believe anything you read on the internet

is the best advice. Laugh at your friends and tell them the same when they say they got info "from the internet".

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:11 PM

3. Well that should take care of it.

Really?

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Response to Dream Girl (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:14 PM

4. Yep

Same as saying if the internet told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:55 PM

7. Which reminds me of a commercial I saw a while back:

She: "You're not allowed to put anything on the internet that isn't true."
He: "Where'd you hear that?"
She: "The internet."

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:26 PM

5. The deception, the self promotion, the level of perception management....

.... and the propaganda are astounding.

They are trashing and breaking the systems of government and of our very Democracy to put this Fascist back in the White House for his second term.

This impeachment acquittal took the shackles off the controls that prevent a run away train - off the rails of the pResidency. Fasten your seat belts things are going to take a major leap into the arenas of the unimaginable and unfathomable - into the zones of hyper nasty gutter type politics.

The damage cause by trDump to America is not yet over. Now that he is fully unleashed with his Mueller Report (Barr) acquittal and impeachment acquittal - some say he may have just begun tearing and tossing American Democracy into the trash heap.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:36 PM

6. Beware of Text Messages:

"...Parscale has said texting will be at the center of Trump’s reelection strategy. The medium’s ability to reach voters is unparalleled: While robocalls get sent to voicemail and email blasts get trapped in spam folders, peer-to-peer texting companies say that at least 90 percent of their messages are opened."

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