Adam Kinzinger Tricked Into Sharing Russian Propaganda Online

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Well, Russian President Vladimir Putin must be laughing at us the whole time he does his daily two-hour swim. The only thing he had in common with the ex-president was no alcohol. That and smearing gullible Americans on both sides with disastrous propaganda and making a mold-infested sandwich out of them. Now, it is time to snap out of it unless people want to just sign the title to The U.S. Constitution over to him right now. Fortunately, a surprising superhero, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has emerged to will lead them out of this death trap spiral. But how many are already stuck there?

You see, Putin has fooled an alarming portion of Americans into believing a treasure trove of conspiracy hockey puck. The former GRU (formerly the KGB) is feared the world over. It is responsible for hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails during her presidential campaign, according to the BBC. Worse, it has never stopped.

Putin is guilty of feeding Americans strategic Russian whoppers. If these people keep swallowing it whole, it will literally choke them. Representative Kinzinger pointed out information on how to spot “Russian weasels:”

‘Sniper shot by @LouiseMensch on spotting Russian weasels.’

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He referenced information that pointed out that this type of account is a Russian troll account, one of their disinformation conduits:

‘Hi all so beware of “Afghan Resistance” accounts like this one. It’s a Russian troll. 2017 account with 400 tweets but 20k likes. Go back to before the fall of Afghanistan and you find it used to be a pro Sinn Fein, pro BDS “Irish” account liking tweets in Gaelic and Cyrillic.’

Kinzinger gave us hope if we only learn the Russian misinformation lesson:

Here is a lesson in Russian Misinformation: yesterday I followed and promoted @NA2NRF as the northern alliance, which it is actually a Russian disinformation acct. The real one is@nrfafg. Russia wants to discredit us further than we already have ourselves.’

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The Business Insider introduced Ben Judah’s book on Putin, which he researched for years, Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell in and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin. It was released in 2014, but holds a vault of information still vital today about how Putin’s mind works and how he implements his propaganda.

The International Security and Defense Policy Center of the Rand National Security Research Division (NSRD) prepared a substantive report entitled Russian Propaganda Hits Its Mark: Experimentally Testing the Impact of Russian Propaganda and Counter-Interventions.

‘It describes a study conducted by RAND researchers to assess how people react to and engage with Russia’s online propaganda and to determine whether the negative effects of that engagement can be mitigated by brief media literacy advisories or by labeling the source of the propaganda. Russia targets the extremes on both sides of the political divide, and a short media literacy video and labeling intervention were both shown to reduce willingness among particular categories of participants (defined by news consumption habits) to “like” the propaganda.’

A few of its highlights are:

  • Russian content is particularly effective at achieving its goal of generating strong reactions along partisan lines
  • Strongly positive emotional reactions to such social media content increase the chances that participants will self-report “liking” and sharing it
  • Compared with the emotional effects generated among participants for whom the source was hidden, participant willingness to engage by “liking” or sharing material for which the source was exposed was weaker.
  • In the overall sample, revealing the source reduced the likelihood that participants would “like” pro-U.S. Russian content, but no other effects for “liking” or sharing were statistically significant.
  • Members of a Partisan Right get their news from Fox News or from politically far-right outlets and lean right politically.
  • Participants in this group exhibit strong responses to Russian memes that align with their political ideologies and demonstrated a reduced emotional response to that propaganda, and were less likely to “like” that propaganda when informed of its Russian source.
  • The video on media literacy also appeared to reduce the number of self-reported “likes” for pro-U.S. and politically right-leaning Russian content in the Partisan Right group.

One solution to the problem is providing a warning, much like the ones on tobacco products. Another is social “media–based literacy efforts that offer a low-cost and highly scalable way to supplement more educational-based media literacy programming.”


Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.