Of the Orphans and Cunts

(Russian Reflexive Control Techniques)

by Alex Alvarova

The impetus for the following essay was provided by Steve Bannon, his recent trip to Prague and his under-the-radar meeting with Milos Zeman, the wholeheartedly pro-Russian president of the Czech Republic. The writer is the author of The Industry of Lies, a successful Czech non-fiction work on Russian propaganda published in December of 2017. The book’s core precept is that the sum total of the so-called meddling strategies and events surrounding the 2016 US presidential election was devised, tested and perfected in the Czech Republic, during the 2013 Czech presidential election campaign. The author is a political-marketing professional and a recognized authority in the field. In her book she examines uncanny similarities between individual methods and spin tactics the Kremlin had first tested in the Czech Republic and deployed later in the United States. The writer develops and substantiates a central idea that, because of its close social-demographic similarities with the US Southern states, the Czech Republic has been and continues to be a Russian hybrid-war lab and testing ground. read more

  • picture from the main Twitter account of the Press Secretary of the Czech President Zeman

How (and why) Russia hacked the US election | Laura Galante

Hacking, fake news, information bubbles … all these and more have become part of the vernacular in recent years. But as cyberspace analyst Laura Galante describes in this alarming talk, the real target of anyone looking to influence geopolitics is dastardly simple: it’s you.

Media and extremism

How the Media Helped Legitimize Extremism

by Miranda Katz, Medium.com

A new study, by a respected scholar on internet culture, winds up a penetrating indictment of journalism’s internal inconsistencies. A new report titled “The Oxygen of Amplification” offers an unprecedented look at the fundamental paradox of reporting on the so-called “alt-right”: Doing so without amplifying that ideology is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible. The report comes out of the Data & Society research institute’s Media Manipulation Initiative, and is written by Whitney Phillips, author of This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Internet Culture. It draws on in-depth conversations with dozens of journalists (including WIRED’s Emma Grey Ellis, who reports frequently on the topic) to illustrate an uncomfortable truth: Journalists inadvertently helped catalyze the rapid rise of the alt-right, turning it into a story before it was necessarily newsworthy.

Vladimir Gellman: Living in the Lie

Russian language article here

To Live in a Lie. How lying became a new normal in the russian society. “About how the Lie metastasized to the whole of the Russian society, how the Russians are already lying to themselves and do not want to admit the truth.”

Author Vladimir Gelman, political scientist and professor at the European University in St. Petersburg.