The Russia-backed campaign to link the volunteer rescuers with al-Qaida exposes how conspiracy theories take root: ‘It’s like a factory’
In spite of this positive international recognition, there’s a counter-narrative pushed by a vocal network of individuals who write for alternative news sites countering the “MSM agenda”. Their views align with the positions of Syria and Russia and attract an enormous online audience, amplified by high-profile alt-right personalities, appearances on Russian state TV and an army of Twitter bots.
The way the Russian propaganda machine has targeted the White Helmets is a neat case study in the prevailing information wars. It exposes just how rumours, conspiracy theories and half-truths bubble to the top of YouTube, Google and Twitter search algorithms.
“This is the heart of Russian propaganda. In the old days they would try and portray the Soviet Union as a model society. Now it’s about confusing every issue with so many narratives that people can’t recognise the truth when they see it,” said David Patrikarakos, author of War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the 21st Century.
Spokesman says ‘clearly right now is not the time’ for talks, going against what Tillerson had said and underlining chaotic nature of Trump’s foreign policy
Trump sends ‘ugly and suggestive’ tweet about senator Kirsten Gillibrand after she called on him to resign over sexual misconduct allegations
““Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump,” the president tweeted.
Gillibrand – who along with three male Democratic senators has called on Trump to resign over the numerous sexual misconduct accusations against him – responded on Twitter minutes later. “You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office,” the New York senator wrote.
Hours later, Gillibrand told reporters on Capitol Hill that Trump’s post was “a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice. It’s part of the president’s effort at name-calling.”
She added: “I will not be silenced on this issue. Neither will the women who stood up to the president yesterday, and neither will the millions of women who have been marching since the women’s march [in January] to stand up against policies they do not agree with.”
Trump singled out Gillibrand while ignoring the male senators who have also called on him to step down: the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, the New Jersey senator Cory Booker and the Oregon senator Jeff Merkley.”
Michael Flynn is cooperating with the FBI, but it is what Donald Trump says, or tweets, that may be more telling.
In a tweet he’s admitted that he sacked Michael Flynn because he lied to the FBI over the nature of his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
It was AFTER the national security adviser was sacked that Mr Trump (allegedly) asked then-FBI director James Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, saying “he’s a good guy”.
He also subsequently tweeted that Mr Flynn was the victim of a witch-hunt and should seek immunity from prosecution.
Yet, by the President’s own admission today, he knew all along that Mr Flynn was guilty of a federal offence.
A list of the accusations made against Donald Trump, all of which he has denied
In rare clash between allies, US president tells May to focus on terrorism rather than on him – but sends the tweet to the wrong person
James O’Keefe’s organisation specialising in media stings received donations from Trump’s foundation but was caught red-handed peddling a false story