Russians hacked my Facebook feed
A harsh spotlight spotlight has been trained on Facebook over its disclosure that Russians used fake pages and ads, designed to look like the work of American activists, to spread inflammatory messages during and since the presidential campaign. — New York Times, Sept. 27, 2017
And now Russian troll farms are stirring up the NFL take-a-knee controversy “just to raise the noise level in America and to make a big issue seem like a bigger issue,” U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said.
Admit it: It’s fun to see Mark Zuckerberg choke down a steaming plate of crow and accept that his brainchild with 2 billion monthly users and a $500 billion market cap is now:
1. America’s #1 fake news source far dwarfing Breitbart and the entire alt-right media;
2. The perfect platform for a Russian information warfare campaign to sow division and destabilize our democracy that’s more powerful, insidious and effective than any Cold War nonsense; and,
3. Fresh, digital-age proof of Lincoln’s adage — you really can fool some of the people all the time, even when they have an entire world of verifiable information at their keyboard-tapping fingertips 24/7/365. Especially if they want to be fooled.
As George Costanza said, “It’s not a lie — if you believe it.”
While I’m horrified that the Russians may have suckered more voters to hate Hillary and back Trump than the Koch Bros., Mercer family and the Billionaire’s Club combined, there’s an upside for me:
Now I know why everyone says I’ve been acting so strange for the past year.
No, I still voted for Her. Not just because I suspected Trump would be an embarrassing disaster, or I’m not easily duped. I am. But their algorithms probably determined that while I’m a white man, and sometimes angry, I’m not the best target.
Perhaps I “liked” too many HuffPo articles and other liberal fake news. Or maybe I clicked on too many Refinery29 list pieces offering relationship advice for women (“Ten Reasons Why Your Guy Is So Stupid”), which I read to glean how they think so I can be a better partner. Sensitive men don’t make for great red-hat MAGAs.
Nevertheless, it’s clear from my thoughts and behavior that the Russians did try, albeit halfheartedly, to influence me. Here are Ten Clear Signs That I’m Almost A Manchurian Candidate:
1. A strange craving for holodets, a quivering blob of salty gelatin filled with unidentifiable shredded meat, with a side of sliced cold pig lard (salo) washed down with a foamy mug of fermented bread juice (kvass).
2. In spite of Deep State lies, Russia was the first to the moon, won the Cold War, cured cancer, and pitched “Seinfeld” to NBC. Russians also invented the computer and the internet, but this is not how they didn’t hack our society, politics and the brains of our most gullible saps, marks, fools, patsies, pigeons and stooges.
3. I bang my shoe on the table when I feel strongly about something.
4. Something about an old, bent-over toothless woman in a tattered shapeless dress, work boots and head scarf, trudging along a dirt road with a burlap bag of cabbages, just drives me wild.
5. For no apparent reason, I traded my new, 444 horsepower BMW M3 sports coupe for a 1973 WAZ 2101 Lada 1200 with 62 horsepower on those days when it starts. When people tell their favorite Lada jokes (e.g., “What’s the difference between a Lada and a golf ball? You can drive a golf ball more than 200 yards”), I call them a “vyperdysch.” Translated: “someone who appears out of farting.”
6. My new favorite Starbucks drink to start the day, and a few throughout the day, is Cold-Pressed Stoli. By the way, I now completely understand The Dude’s whole thing about mixing vodka, Kahlúa and non-dairy creamer, which — helpful hint if wintering in Yakutsk — doesn’t freeze like real cream does when the temperature drops to -35F in September.
7. Speaking of Yakutsk, somehow I now know it’s not a made-up place on the Risk game board. It’s a real territory in Russia. So are Irkutsk and Kamchatka.
8. I started calling my home state of Ohio “The Motherland.” And not because my mother lives there.
9. I changed the name of my sweet, innocent little lap cats from William Shakespaw and Chairman Meow to Jared and Eric.
10.You send me many bitcoin and I unlock your computer and car doors, give back your Equifax information, and stop planting pumpkin spice memes and Tomi Lehren vraki on your Facebook feed. Send big amount bitcoin and we send crazy man back to dacha or maybe to gulag. We have deal, yes?
Dzheffri Denny is a Washington writer