Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign

Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter

One tweet claimed coronavirus numbers were intentionally inflated, adding, “It’s hard to know what to believe.” Another warned, “Don’t trust Dr. Fauci.”

A Facebook comment argued that mail-in ballots “will lead to fraud for this election,” while an Instagram comment amplified the erroneous claim that 28 million ballots went missing in the past four elections.

The messages have been emanating in recent months from the accounts of young people in Arizona seemingly expressing their own views — standing up for President Trump in a battleground state and echoing talking points from his reelection campaign.

Far from representing a genuine social media groundswell, however, the posts are the product of a sprawling yet secretive campaign that experts say evades the guardrails put in place by social media companies to limit online disinformation of the sort used by Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Teenagers, some of them minors, are being paid to pump out the messages at the direction of Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA, the prominent conservative youth organization based in Phoenix, according to four people with independent knowledge of the effort. Their descriptions were confirmed by detailed notes from relatives of one of the teenagers who recorded conversations with him about the efforts.

[…]

In response to questions from The Post, Twitter on Tuesday suspended at least 20 accounts involved in the activity for “platform manipulation and spam.” Facebook also removed a number of accounts as part of what the company said is an ongoing investigation.

The effort generated thousands of posts this summer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, according to an examination by The Post and an assessment by an independent specialist in data science. Nearly 4,500 tweets containing identical content that were identified in the analysis probably represent a fraction of the overall output.

The months-long effort by the tax-exempt nonprofit is among the most ambitious domestic influence campaigns uncovered this election cycle, said experts tracking the evolution of deceptive online tactics.

The effort, Brookie added, illustrates “that the scale and scope of domestic disinformation is far greater than anything a foreign adversary could do to us.”

[…]

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Well, I’m sure this will bring out the accusations of They’re censoring the right! :astonished:

I’m sick of the manipulations of social media. These companies are trying to remove false accounts and the spread of misinformation. They are actually doing it to both the right and the left but it seems the right is doing this in much larger numbers. So, does that mean they are censoring the right in general? No. They are trying to manage the false narratives which seem to be more numerous amongst the right.

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But it’s fine for the left to throw it all out there no matter where it comes from, real account or not. Facebook doesn’t take it down nor does it try to reign it in at all.

I see more lies about Trump and conservatives on Facebook than I see here. I’ve seen many claims about mail in ballots being horrible and just a conduit for election fraud, which in my opinion, is why Nancy et al. want them so desperately. Most of those don’t get removed.

This is just another Washington Post article crying wolf. I also noted they use their own work as sources. I guess they couldn’t get any others.

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Isn’t it wrong when anyone does it?

I liken this to companies getting their employees to write glowing ‘Yelp’ reviews for their business’ online reviews. It is dishonest.

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I’m just saying all this “outrage” is comical. “Oh my, a group of teens is trying to tell lies about Joe Biden! I’m sooo offended!” :astonished:

“What are we to do? These horrible teens are telling everyone about what we are trying to do to Joe elected so Kamala can be president” “How dare they be so mean!”

I may be a bit over the top with this, but to read the stuff day after day, this is literally how it sounds. Like whiny spoiled children who get told no.

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It seems that they are giving the teens the wrong example; a technological Fagin’s lair.

This article sounds like something written by Captain Renault in Casablanca, “I am shocked, shocked…!”

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Guardrails? There are guardrails?

Well then I suppose we should then let the left indoctri…oops…teach our youth how to behave; “protesting” in the streets, burning, looting, screaming profanities, chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry’em like bacon” or “death to cops”. You are so right, that would be so much better, I’m sorry, I forgot my place and forgot I was no longer able to think for myself and express my thoughts. It won’t happen again.

This is the world you are so desperately fighting for, a country where people like me would never be allowed to speak freely. Guess what, you wouldn’t either, at some point no matter how much you supported the Harris/Biden ticket and professed your progressive liberalism, your voice would be silenced also. I’m just shocked, given all the evidence out there, that people can’t see this happening.

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WaPo has a paywall so I couldn’t read what these dangerous partisans are supposedly saying. But given that WaPo’s history with truth is not exactly pristine, I doubt it’s true anyway.

But apparently this is not the only conservative group that social media oligarchs censor to fit their ideological proclivities.

You serially deflect to your charges about what leftists do. The thread is on what is being done as to these kids but you don’t focus or comment on that.

I think that these kids are less disruptive to our country than the kids who are rioting, looting and burning.

Do they at least get the brown shirts and snazzy uniforms of their historical forbears?

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Many of the violent rioters, looters and otherwise “mostly peaceful” people are wearing black.

I’m not sure whether this is illegal or not, but it sure sounds like something the Russian government loves to do.

It’s not really a deflection so much, it’s just I have no issue with young people standing up for the conservative side and using Facebook and Twitter to express their views. You all are the ones who have been told by the Washington Post to view it as a “sprawling yet secretive campaign that experts say evades the guardrails put in place by social media companies to limit online disinformation of the sort used by Russia during the 2016 campaign.” and now believe to be so.

I live in the real world in which I make my own conclusions based on more factors than what the news tells me.

With the MSM providing the Democrats with billions of dollars worth of 24/7 campaign propaganda dissemination for four years past, (oftentimes repeating the very same slogans) the leftist media oligarchs get into a high dudgeon about a bunch of kids repeating campaign information?

They ought to be ashamed of themselves, but I’m sure they aren’t.

That sounds like paranoia.

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