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Вздымающиеся груди для русской фермы троллей

Earlier this year, my last twitter account was quoted on-air by Holland Cooke during episodes of his The Big Picture program, broadcast on RT America. I never kept more than 2 or 3 dozen followers, yet my page-views easily averaged at around 20000 per day, so I was used to unannounced eyes on me. But he quoted me 5 times across four episodes, with appropriate screen-grabs, and while I’ve no idea if it were interns or producers who stumbled across my account, the overall experience provided a strange signal boost. At no point did I ever exchange communication directly with Holland or anybody remotely affiliated with his show, not even through direct messaging at twitter.

As it petered out, as all things do, I had some fun with the ordeal and wrote up a meta-story for The Rake & Herald about the matter, using real events as evidence in announcing myself as a Russian bot. Because for too many persons here in the west, even such a vague connection as a handful of social media posts being worked into an RT show’s news is all the evidence required for me to actually be an ethereal Soviet algorithm and nothing more.

But it didn’t end there.

Just a couple of months after the R&H piece ran, the Drudge Report was suddenly filled with stories from such platforms as NBC, Foreign Policy, McClatchy and the Daily Beast, all accusing a webzine called USA Really of being a Russian troll factory. While its founder had been an active protester in DC for a couple of years or so, I thought it wondrously bizarre how so many big players would so suddenly pile on against a site that had just launched, and which at that time realistically had a scant following. Especially when contrasted against the resources of far larger networks with blatant histories of disguising biased governmental narratives as news stories, such as the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Zerohedge. I took note of the distinct possibility that USA Really was tokenism, controlled opposition, like a scapegoat manufactured to give weight to a groundless argument. But I also realized that, were this not to be the case, then here was a matter of an underdog being kicked about by schoolyard bullies; a small team of bloggers openly and publicly attacked and vilified by agencies whose marketing budgets alone easily dwarfs the entire reserves of this non-profit USA Really news site.

Though having only existed for maybe six weeks, following Drudge’s curation of misinformation, USA Really has had its own social networking accounts suspended and/or terminated from several of the largest networks, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo. For being fake news, or for pushing pro-Russian narratives. Anyone is perfectly free to scroll through their archives and weigh their content for themselves, and see firsthand how the inquisitors of those online social media platforms are lying through their asses well-stuffed by billions in federal grants, tax breaks, corporate subsidies and government contracts.

Thus perturbed, I did what any coyote would do and I reached out to the editors, offering to contribute articles for their endeavor. And as such, being that I am in fact a living, breathing human residing in the state of Kentucky, then I could not possibly be a mere Russian algo programmed to destroy America. This alone shoots down arguments from some of those larger platforms. While I do not agree with much of their content, like the idiot who claimed Trump transcends the left and the right, it must be acknowledged that they do indeed host a variety of views; a rarity among any platform. My only directive from Leo the editor was actually to rein in the ideology of samples I’d submitted. Publicly undercover with applied philosophy to dig up the truth myself, some 6 weeks into this and I now have a total of four articles posted with USA Really.

With more in the works. Because an undesirable thing is by no means a fake thing, no matter how much the masses are relentlessly cattle-prodded to insist otherwise. Bad news is as real as real gets.