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The Left Is Celebrating David Koch’s Passing, Ignorant of How Much they Agree With Him

When a famous conservative person dies, the classless parts of the left come out of the woodwork. Today, we sadly saw the passing of David Koch, a billionaire philanthropist. Koch passed away at 79 years of age after over two decades of battling with cancer.

Koch’s legacy is a net positive one for America, as he was often on the front lines of fighting for freedoms from a libertarian standpoint. Be it same-sex marriage or gun rights, Koch supported personal freedoms first.

As such, he understood that it was the right that was more in line to protect personal freedoms and often found himself opposed to Democrats. Despite his support for stances that Democrats find holy, giving money to Republicans is an unforgivable sin. Given this fact, the left consistently demonized the Koch brothers as one of the evilest institutions in America.

Go figure.

So when Koch died, you can bet there was a celebration by those completely ignorant of what Koch really stood for. As Shapiro noted, the absolute glee from leftists shows just how horrible our political conversation has become.

A perfect example is Rob Sheridan, comic creator and art director for the band Nine Inch Nails.

Sheridan received his just deserts for such a post almost immediately but swept it off as an attack by Russian bots.

Others joined in the chorus according to Twitchy.

It gets worse, as Koch’s death has even inspired people to go after his brother Charles.

For all intents and purposes, the left should have at least been able to find common ground with Koch. He supported women’s causes, broke with the GOP when it came to gay marriage and the war in Iraq, and even supported delving deep into how much funding the military really needs.

He won’t be remembered for these things. In fact, the left probably doesn’t know about any of these stances at all thanks to the efforts of media outlets painting him as the boogie man of the century.

It’s sad that we’ve gotten so nasty in our political discourse that a man who was one of the best shots at bridging the political divide will never get a chance to do so thanks to the way those in charge of information dissemination demonized him. It’s even sadder when you see how hateful people have become, even toward a man they should respect.

The post The Left Is Celebrating David Koch’s Passing, Ignorant of How Much they Agree With Him appeared first on RedState.

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Jonny Piper: Personal, unfiltered – and in your own voice. How politicians can use social media to speak to millions.

Jonny Piper was Head of Video at CCHQ between 2014-18, and most recently has been advising Jeremy Hunt on his leadership campaign.

As we touch down at Heathrow, my iPhone pings into life with hundreds of missed WhatsApp messages, reminding me I’ve not had signal for the past hour. After a quick scroll through Twitter, I pass my phone to the man sat next to me. Jeremy Hunt looks up after reading the tweets that I’d pulled out – ‘I’ll reply to those’ – and proceeds to start a Twitter conversation with Tim Montgomerie about his great aunt’s lemon drizzle cake.

Even after six years in digital communications working as part of the Conservative Party’s digital team, this was new. I’ve worked closely with Prime Ministers and senior Cabinet Ministers, yet I’d never seen such a refreshingly hands-on approach to social media, or its use in a relatable and personal way.

In Theresa May’s Number Ten, an op-ed in a newspaper meant hours of preparation, yet a tweet would always be an afterthought. I always found this bizarre – when a single tweet or Facebook post of pure and unfiltered messaging has the potential to reach millions of voters. At the end of his premiership, David Cameron’s Facebook page had over a million followers, with Facebook’s algorithm showing his posts not only to those who ‘liked’ his page, but to their friends and family too – meaning that a single post might reach millions of the UK electorate. In sheer numbers of people reached, there is simply no comparison to print.

There was one moment when I thought things had changed. Soon after the then Prime Minister stepped off stage in 2017 after coughing through her conference speech, I was called into her suite. I took a photo of her red ministerial box and the copy of her speech that she had been reading from moments ago, surrounded by cough sweets and throat medicine. Tweeting simply ‘*coughs*’, at the time it became her most liked tweet ,with over 30k likes and retweets, and was reported on by Sky and the BBC.

Finally, I thought, her team are starting to get it: they’re seeing the potential of showing some character through social media. But I was wrong. It would be one of the only instances in which her team allowed a glimmer of humour or personality to come through on her social account.

In politics, personality matters. We may wish that it’s purely policy or competence that makes one electable for high office but, to succeed in politics, people need to like who you are.

In the recent Conservative leadership campaign, one candidate was a political superstar, known for his newspaper columns and appearances on Have I Got News For You, a man who could find himself stuck on a zipwire but whose personality allowed him to weather any embarrassment. The other, a personality largely unknown by the electorate.

Yet I’d argue that in this campaign, free for the first time to talk policy and politics after nine years of collective responsibility, it was Hunt whose personality shone through. And it did so because he embraced a medium that allowed him to talk in his own voice – social media.

There is no other platform that is so direct. Speak to a newspaper, and a journalist can editorialise your quote. Speak to a broadcast camera, and the interviewer will press you on everything except your pre-planned lines.

But social media lets you have direct and complete ownership over your messaging and tone. You are in control. You can be funny, sassy, or start a debate or discussion. It’s the easiest platform on which to tell the world who you are, and in your own voice. To use it well, however, you have cut through the noise and talk to your audience, not at them. Sadly, too many politicians miss the mark by just regurgitating a press release into 280 characters.

Donald Trump has shown us that a single tweet has the power to make headlines, start debate and – if we’re not careful – international incidents. During the campaign, Jeremy pointed out to me that, for the first time in history, the entire United States wakes up knowing exactly what has kept the President awake that night. The US is perhaps more connected to a President than ever before.

In the private sector, such entrepreneurs as Elon Musk really get social media. Despite not owning a Tesla, I follow him because he keeps me educated, entertained and engaged. With each tweet, I learn what he’s thinking and feeling, and get a glimpse into the world of a billionaire. And if you ask him a question, he (or one of his team) responds.

And he’s not the only entrepreneur that gets it. Throughout the campaign, Jeremy would regularly tweet himself – a rarity at the upper echelons of politics, interacting with colleagues, members, journalists and the wider public.

An example of how effective this social strategy was was #BoJoNoShow. After Boris Johnson declined Sky’s invitation for a debate, Jeremy filled the void by hosting his own Twitter Q&A. Trending across the UK with over 34k tweets, Jeremy conveyed his style and humour while answering questions on Brexit, the Union and the mis-pronunciation of his surname. Despite the financial limitations of a leadership campaign budget (£150,000), this interaction and engagement meant we were leveraging organic social in the best possible way.

The effectiveness of a digital campaign is boosted immensely when the leadership is willing to engage. I was part of the CCHQ team that pioneered the use of highly-targeted digital advertising in politics all the way back in 2015. Every political campaign has since used the same techniques, but often without any direct input from senior leadership. But imagine how much richer our digital campaigns would be if they were enhanced by a leader who fully understood the power of social media, and used it to speak to the electorate directly.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Popeye’s Chicken Tried to Troll Chick-Fil-A, but Got a Lesson from Wendy’s Instead

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-2-620x350 Popeye’s Chicken Tried to Troll Chick-Fil-A, but Got a Lesson from Wendy’s Instead Wendy's twitter Social Media Popeyes Politics Front Page Stories Featured Story fast food Entertainment chicken Chick-Fil-A Allow Media Exception

Chick-fil-A is the undisputed champion of chicken sandwiches, but there are others who would like to be. One established chicken joint is Popeye’s, and it decided to try to trounce Chick-fil-A in the digital public square, only things didn’t work out so well for them in the end as a new challenger entered the ring.

It all started when Chick-fil-A tweeted out a simple meme that said a bun, plus chicken, plus pickles equals love.

For some reason, Popeye’s decided to answer with “y’all good?” Not sure why, or what they meant, but whatever.

For some reason, this caused the internet to go insane, and think that Popeye’s really served up a beatdown on the number one chicken sandwich chain in America. They even had to go and make it political.

Chick-fil-A didn’t respond. It doesn’t need to, really. It’s number one in chicken, number three overall behind McDonald’s and Starbucks, and even McDonald’s is afraid of it. That’s what good food and even better service gets you.

But it was all fun and games until the queen of Twitter shade showed up. Wendy’s began using its trademark snark to make itself the star of the show, which it did.

I’ve had Wendy’s chicken sandwich. It’s actually pretty good, but not Chick-fil-A good. Bojangles is probably even better, but I digress. Popeye’s attempted to strike back at Wendy’s…

But it was no use. Wendy’s is too good at this.

You don’t mess with Wendy’s on Twitter. You just…you just don’t. Still, people didn’t take Wendy’s clap-back well and attacked them for their CEO donating to Trump.

Twitter users seem to be overly angry at Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s over their leadership’s support for right-wing candidates and/or conservative American values, but both have well-deserved popularity for their food and, in Wendy’s case, their Twitter account.

It would appear everyone else is just salty.

The post Popeye’s Chicken Tried to Troll Chick-Fil-A, but Got a Lesson from Wendy’s Instead appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group ChickFilAMBStadium-300x171 Popeye’s Chicken Tried to Troll Chick-Fil-A, but Got a Lesson from Wendy’s Instead Wendy's twitter Social Media Popeyes Politics Front Page Stories Featured Story fast food Entertainment chicken Chick-Fil-A Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China’s Soft-Power Failure: Condemning Hong Kong’s Protests

Images of masked thugs massing in Hong Kong’s streets. Unproven allegations that protesters are being led by the C.I.A. Comparisons between activists and Nazis.

As protests continue to roil Hong Kong’s streets, China’s state-led propaganda machine has gone into overdrive to persuade the world that radical Hong Kong protesters have put the city in peril. Through social media and other digital arenas, English-language messages from China have painted a picture of a tiny minority of foreign-influenced ruffians intimidating a silent majority of law-and-order residents.

But instead of making China’s case, Beijing’s ham-handed international efforts have largely failed to sway world public opinion. They took a further blow on Monday, when Facebook and Twitter removed hundreds of accounts that they said appeared to be state-backed efforts to sow misinformation and discord in Hong Kong.

Perhaps more significantly, Twitter took the further step of forbidding state-run media outlets from paying to get their tweets promoted so that they appear prominently in users’ timelines. Chinese state-run outlets like the English-language China Daily newspaper and Xinhua, the officials news agency, have used promoted tweets to put their own spin on Hong Kong’s turmoil.

Call it a failure of Chinese “soft power” — what the political scientist Joseph S. Nye Jr., who coined the term, defined as getting others to want what you want. China wants soft power but, judging by Beijing’s propaganda, doesn’t know how to get it.

The contrast has been stark. On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators clogged the city streets to call once again for the city’s leaders to give in to their demands and give the people greater say in a political system controlled by Beijing. The protesters — organizers put their number at 1.7 million — offered a more sympathetic narrative than the world saw the week before, when violent clashes broke out in protests at Hong Kong’s airport.

Chinese state media, on the other hand, in recent days has shown images of Chinese paramilitary police across the border in the mainland engaged in crowd-clearing exercises. The Twitter account of Global Times, a nationalist tabloid controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, posted a video on Monday calling four pro-democracy Hong Kong figures “The Gang of Four,” a term that refers to the former Chinese leaders who were blamed for plunging the country into the disastrous Cultural Revolution. (The tweet has since disappeared.)

Pro-China activists also appeared in Australia, Canada and Europe, putting on less-than-wholesome displays. In Toronto on Sunday, pro-mainland protesters shouted words like “traitor” and “loser” as well as crude epithets at a crowd of Hong Kong supporters. One widely circulated video showed four flashy sports cars revving their engines with Chinese flags hoisted out their windows. “Worst ‘Fast & Furious’ movie ever,” said one person on Twitter.

China’s tactics may ultimately work in Hong Kong, though so far protesters appear unbowed by threats of a crackdown. And at home, where independent news sources like The New York Times are blocked, China’s propaganda push appears to be astonishingly effective. Many internet users there reacted with outrage at the images last week of a Global Times reporter who was beaten by protesters at the airport. Chinese social media is awash with the bloodied faces of police and shaky images of foreigners who state media have claimed — often wrongly — are secret protest leaders.

China is using the same tactics abroad, but in most cases, they don’t play well. These include comparing protesters to cockroaches and some cringe-inducing anti-democracy rapping. “Who are you?/Who’s hiding behind the scenes?,” go the lyrics to a rap disseminated by the foreign arm of China Central Television, the state broadcaster. “All I see is a beautiful dream turning to nightmare.”

China, since 2010 the world’s second largest economy after the United States, has been determined to build the nation’s soft power. It envies the sort of unconscious sway that the United States enjoys simply through the pervasiveness of its economic and cultural heft. President Trump isn’t going to win any trade wars because people in China love the “Transformers” movies or watch “Game of Thrones,” but American mass media and other cultural exports increase people’s familiarity and warmth with the country’s ideals.

China could use some of that sway about now. Its credibility and legitimacy are under assault in Washington and elsewhere as China hawks rise in prominence.

Under Xi Jinping, its top leader, China has come up with a wide range of initiatives to woo the world with its ideals and its wallet. The “China Dream” envisions a peaceful world in which China plays a leading role. Projects like the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are intended to show the benefits of China’s growing wealth.

“It is easy to dismiss such talk as ‘slogan diplomacy,’” wrote David Shambaugh of the George Washington University in 2015. “But Beijing nonetheless attaches great importance to it.”

“We should increase China’s soft power, give a good Chinese narrative and better communicate China’s messages to the world,” Mr. Xi said not long after he became the president in 2013.

In his most important media policy speech in 2016, Mr. Xi instructed the top official media organizations to learn to tell compelling Chinese stories and build flagship foreign-language media outlets with global influences. Xinhua, CCTV, Global Times and the rest have bolstered their presence in the United States and elsewhere and taken to the very same social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter that Beijing blocks at home. Some accounts have amassed followers of over 10 million.

However, the Hong Kong protests have suggested that Beijing still knows hard power much better than soft. Instead of offering a competing narrative of a Hong Kong that could prosper under Chinese rule, it has instead made itself look like a bully.

Though troops haven’t crossed into Hong Kong, images distributed around the world by Chinese media outlets show heavily armed personnel preparing for urban conflict. Beijing is forcing businesses, both global and local, to keep their Hong Kong employees in line or risk getting cut off from the vast Chinese market. On Sunday, Beijing announced a new policy that will buff up the socialist city of Shenzhen just across the border so it can compete head-to-head with capitalist Hong Kong.

Some young mainlanders are so worked up with nationalistic fervor that they are using software to bypass Chinese censors to log into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to blast and shame those who support Hong Kong. While that may have some effect on Chinese students living abroad, it has otherwise had little impact.

Contrast China’s approach with Russia’s: Moscow-tied groups have used social media to tremendously disruptive effect in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. But China needs to build a positive image for itself, not tear down the reputation of others.

That is in part why a recent CCTV tweet, comparing the Hong Kong protests to the Nazi rise in Germany in the 1930s, undermines Beijing more than it helps. The post quotes a rewritten version of the poem by Martin Niemöller, the church leader who opposed Hitler, which ends with, “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

The People’s Daily version compares the persecution of Jews, socialists and trade unionists with protesters storming Hong Kong’s main legislative building, blocking roads and attacking reporters, including an accusation that demonstrators “trampled the freedom of the press.”

Should it continue down the same rhetorical path, China risks eroding what little soft power it has. As Mr. Nye once explained to Chinese university students, “the best propaganda is not propaganda,” because during the Information Age, “credibility is the scarcest resource.”

Hong Kong’s Summer of Protest
The semiautonomous region of China has been wracked with demonstrations.
With Troop Buildup, China Sends a Stark Warning to Hong Kong

Aug 19, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 19china-hk-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 China’s Soft-Power Failure: Condemning Hong Kong’s Protests twitter Social Media Propaganda Polls and Public Opinion Politics and Government Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Facebook Inc Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Computers and the Internet China Censorship
Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong

Aug 19, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 19hongkongsocial-threeByTwoSmallAt2X China’s Soft-Power Failure: Condemning Hong Kong’s Protests twitter Social Media Propaganda Polls and Public Opinion Politics and Government Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Facebook Inc Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Computers and the Internet China Censorship
China Pressures Business Over Hong Kong. Workers Get Caught in the Middle.

Aug 18, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 00hkbusiness-1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 China’s Soft-Power Failure: Condemning Hong Kong’s Protests twitter Social Media Propaganda Polls and Public Opinion Politics and Government Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Facebook Inc Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Computers and the Internet China Censorship

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong

SAN FRANCISCO — China has adopted Russia’s playbook for spreading disinformation on Facebook and Twitter, deploying those tactics in its increasingly heated information war over the protests that have convulsed Hong Kong.

In recent weeks, Facebook and Twitter accounts that originated in China acted in a coordinated fashion to amplify messages and images that portrayed Hong Kong’s protesters as violent and extreme, the two social media companies said on Monday. On Facebook, one recent post from a China-linked account likened the protesters to ISIS fighters. And a Twitter message said, “We don’t want you radical people in Hong Kong. Just get out of here!”

Facebook and Twitter said they had now removed the accounts, the first time that the social media companies have had to take down accounts linked to disinformation in China.

Video

Westlake Legal Group HK-Propaganda_still2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong twitter Rumors and Misinformation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Facebook Inc China

For more than two months, antigovernment protests have gripped Hong Kong, with anger rising over China’s growing influence. Here are tactics the Chinese government is using to frame the narrative.

Facebook said it eliminated seven pages, three Facebook Groups and five accounts involved in the disinformation campaign about Hong Kong protesters. Twitter deleted 936 accounts and said it would ban state-backed media from promoting tweets after China Daily and other state-backed publications placed ads on its service that suggested the protesters were sponsored by Western interests and were becoming violent.

“These accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” Twitter said in a statement. “Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation.”

The removal of the China-backed accounts signal an escalation in the global disinformation wars. In 2015 and 2016, Russia pioneered disinformation techniques when it used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media to disseminate inflammatory messages intended to divide Americans in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, governments in many other countries — including Bangladesh, Iran and Venezuela — have also used Facebook and Twitter to sow discord at home and abroad.

China has been less visible about using Facebook and Twitter to spread disinformation, researchers said. Both services are blocked in the country and people instead spend time on homegrown social media services and messaging apps like WeChat and Weibo. The Communist Party has largely not needed Western social media because it already exerts tight control over state-backed media and content inside the country’s so-called Great Firewall.

But the recent Facebook and Twitter activity over the Hong Kong protests suggests that Beijing will use those services to spread its messaging outside the Great Firewall when it deems it necessary. Facebook and Twitter are not blocked in Hong Kong and are widely used. Some 4.7 million people in the territory log into Facebook at least once a month, while 448,000 use Twitter, according to eMarketer.

China may have previously dipped its toe into using Western social media to destabilize elections in Taiwan starting in 2018, said Graham Brookie, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. He added that China’s disinformation campaigns tended to be less wide-ranging than Russia’s and hew tightly to a set of foreign policy goals, including tying Taiwan and Hong Kong closely to the mainland.

“The Chinese have been watching what works and what doesn’t in the context of Russian information operations,” Mr. Brookie said. “China is testing the waters on what is effective and what they can get away with.”

The disinformation campaign against the Hong Kong protests also stands out because many of the tweets were written in English and targeted a global audience.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 19hongkongsocial3-articleLarge Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong twitter Rumors and Misinformation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Facebook Inc China

Screenshots from fake accounts on Facebook involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. The translation in final panel is: Hong Kong cockroach chaos.Creditvia Facebook

A screenshot via Facebook of a fake account involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. It says “Protesters. ISIS fighters. What’s the difference?”Creditvia Facebook
A screenshot via Twitter of a fake account that Twitter said originated within China as a state-backed operation to sow political discord.Creditvia Twitter

“I think they are trying to reach English speakers in Hong Kong and the larger audience of people watching,” said Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Most of the Twitter accounts involved in the Hong Kong campaign were recently created and did not have large followings, said Renee DiResta, the Mozilla Fellow in media, misinformation and trust. “It reveals almost a lack of sophistication in terms of how China is thinking about developing this outward capability,” she said.

Officials at the Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

Since the Hong Kong protests began in June to demonstrate against an extradition bill, the movement has evolved. On Sunday, the city was the scene of another huge march, which organizers said brought out 1.7 million people — or nearly one in four of the total population of around seven million — who walked in defiance of a police ban.

China has aggressively stoked anti-Western and nationalist sentiments around the protests and begun branding the demonstrations as a prelude to terrorism. Hong Kong workers and billionaires have also jumped into the fray. In ads in several local newspapers, the tycoon Li Ka Shing recently pushed readers to “love China, love Hong Kong, love yourself” and “overcome anger with love.” And employees at accounting firms in Hong Kong have taken out ads supporting the demonstrations.

Twitter said it discovered the China-linked accounts during an investigation that spanned several weeks. The accounts worked together to blast out messages that could undermine the Hong Kong protests, with some of the accounts using Twitter from specific unblocked internet protocol addresses, the company said. Since Twitter is not permitted in China, an unblocked IP address is typically a telltale sign that the accounts were approved by the government, researchers said.

Although most of the disinformation was spread by the 936 accounts that Twitter eventually took down, the company said it also uncovered a broader group of 200,000 accounts. Those sprang up once Twitter began banning some of the earlier accounts; the majority of them were stopped before they were able to spread more messages, the company said.

Among the messages that the China-linked accounts posted was a tweet suggesting protesters were “taking benefits from the bad guys.” Another claimed the protesters had “ulterior motives.”

Twitter said it would give state-sponsored media a month to leave its advertising platform before its ban on promoted tweets from state-backed media goes into effect. The ban expands on the company’s efforts to combat Russian disinformation. In 2017, Twitter banned RT and Sputnik, international news outlets supported by the Kremlin, from advertising on its service.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook said it would not ban ads from state-owned media. The company said it would “continue to look at our policies as they relate to state-owned media” and also closely examine ads that were flagged to it so it could determine if they violated its policies. China’s government, through its state media agencies, has been a big buyer of ads on Facebook, The New York Times has reported.

Twitter alerted Facebook to the coordinated China-linked social media activity in July, a Facebook spokeswoman said. The Facebook pages that the company identified in its own investigation typically posed as news organizations and were followed by about 15,500 accounts. Most of the pages were created in 2018 or later, with the earliest page flagged in the investigation set up in 2016. While the people behind the activity tried to hide their identities, Facebook said it “found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government.”

“Protesters, ISIS fighters,” one of the Facebook posts said, “What’s the difference?” Another called the protesters “Hong Kong cockroaches.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong

SAN FRANCISCO — China has adopted Russia’s playbook for spreading disinformation on Facebook and Twitter, deploying those tactics in its increasingly heated information war over the protests that have convulsed Hong Kong.

In recent weeks, Facebook and Twitter accounts that originated in China acted in a coordinated fashion to amplify messages and images that portrayed Hong Kong’s protesters as violent and extreme, the two social media companies said on Monday. On Facebook, one recent post from a China-linked account likened the protesters to ISIS fighters. And a Twitter message said, “We don’t want you radical people in Hong Kong. Just get out of here!”

Facebook and Twitter said they had now removed the accounts, the first time that the social media companies have had to take down accounts linked to disinformation in China.

Video

Westlake Legal Group HK-Propaganda_still2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong twitter Rumors and Misinformation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Facebook Inc China

For more than two months, antigovernment protests have gripped Hong Kong, with anger rising over China’s growing influence. Here are tactics the Chinese government is using to frame the narrative.

Facebook said it eliminated seven pages, three Facebook Groups and five accounts involved in the disinformation campaign about Hong Kong protesters. Twitter deleted 936 accounts and said it would ban state-backed media from promoting tweets after China Daily and other state-backed publications placed ads on its service that suggested the protesters were sponsored by Western interests and were becoming violent.

“These accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” Twitter said in a statement. “Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation.”

The removal of the China-backed accounts signal an escalation in the global disinformation wars. In 2015 and 2016, Russia pioneered disinformation techniques when it used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media to disseminate inflammatory messages intended to divide Americans in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, governments in many other countries — including Bangladesh, Iran and Venezuela — have also used Facebook and Twitter to sow discord at home and abroad.

China has been less visible about using Facebook and Twitter to spread disinformation, researchers said. Both services are blocked in the country and people instead spend time on homegrown social media services and messaging apps like WeChat and Weibo. The Communist Party has largely not needed Western social media because it already exerts tight control over state-backed media and content inside the country’s so-called Great Firewall.

But the recent Facebook and Twitter activity over the Hong Kong protests suggests that Beijing will use those services to spread its messaging outside the Great Firewall when it deems it necessary. Facebook and Twitter are not blocked in Hong Kong and are widely used. Some 4.7 million people in the territory log into Facebook at least once a month, while 448,000 use Twitter, according to eMarketer.

China may have previously dipped its toe into using Western social media to destabilize elections in Taiwan starting in 2018, said Graham Brookie, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. He added that China’s disinformation campaigns tended to be less wide-ranging than Russia’s and hew tightly to a set of foreign policy goals, including tying Taiwan and Hong Kong closely to the mainland.

“The Chinese have been watching what works and what doesn’t in the context of Russian information operations,” Mr. Brookie said. “China is testing the waters on what is effective and what they can get away with.”

The disinformation campaign against the Hong Kong protests also stands out because many of the tweets were written in English and targeted a global audience.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 19hongkongsocial3-articleLarge Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong twitter Rumors and Misinformation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Facebook Inc China

Screenshots from fake accounts on Facebook involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. The translation in final panel is: Hong Kong cockroach chaos.Creditvia Facebook

A screenshot via Facebook of a fake account involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. It says “Protesters. ISIS fighters. What’s the difference?”Creditvia Facebook
A screenshot via Twitter of a fake account that Twitter said originated within China as a state-backed operation to sow political discord.Creditvia Twitter

“I think they are trying to reach English speakers in Hong Kong and the larger audience of people watching,” said Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Most of the Twitter accounts involved in the Hong Kong campaign were recently created and did not have large followings, said Renee DiResta, the Mozilla Fellow in media, misinformation and trust. “It reveals almost a lack of sophistication in terms of how China is thinking about developing this outward capability,” she said.

Officials at the Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

Since the Hong Kong protests began in June to demonstrate against an extradition bill, the movement has evolved. On Sunday, the city was the scene of another huge march, which organizers said brought out 1.7 million people — or nearly one in four of the total population of around seven million — who walked in defiance of a police ban.

China has aggressively stoked anti-Western and nationalist sentiments around the protests and begun branding the demonstrations as a prelude to terrorism. Hong Kong workers and billionaires have also jumped into the fray. In ads in several local newspapers, the tycoon Li Ka Shing recently pushed readers to “love China, love Hong Kong, love yourself” and “overcome anger with love.” And employees at accounting firms in Hong Kong have taken out ads supporting the demonstrations.

Twitter said it discovered the China-linked accounts during an investigation that spanned several weeks. The accounts worked together to blast out messages that could undermine the Hong Kong protests, with some of the accounts using Twitter from specific unblocked internet protocol addresses, the company said. Since Twitter is not permitted in China, an unblocked IP address is typically a telltale sign that the accounts were approved by the government, researchers said.

Although most of the disinformation was spread by the 936 accounts that Twitter eventually took down, the company said it also uncovered a broader group of 200,000 accounts. Those sprang up once Twitter began banning some of the earlier accounts; the majority of them were stopped before they were able to spread more messages, the company said.

Among the messages that the China-linked accounts posted was a tweet suggesting protesters were “taking benefits from the bad guys.” Another claimed the protesters had “ulterior motives.”

Twitter said it would give state-sponsored media a month to leave its advertising platform before its ban on promoted tweets from state-backed media goes into effect. The ban expands on the company’s efforts to combat Russian disinformation. In 2017, Twitter banned RT and Sputnik, international news outlets supported by the Kremlin, from advertising on its service.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook said it would not ban ads from state-owned media. The company said it would “continue to look at our policies as they relate to state-owned media” and also closely examine ads that were flagged to it so it could determine if they violated its policies. China’s government, through its state media agencies, has been a big buyer of ads on Facebook, The New York Times has reported.

Twitter alerted Facebook to the coordinated China-linked social media activity in July, a Facebook spokeswoman said. The Facebook pages that the company identified in its own investigation typically posed as news organizations and were followed by about 15,500 accounts. Most of the pages were created in 2018 or later, with the earliest page flagged in the investigation set up in 2016. While the people behind the activity tried to hide their identities, Facebook said it “found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government.”

“Protesters, ISIS fighters,” one of the Facebook posts said, “What’s the difference?” Another called the protesters “Hong Kong cockroaches.”

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Maggie Haberman From The NYT Tweets About Luggage Aboard Air Force One.

Westlake Legal Group Luggage-300x225 Maggie Haberman From The NYT Tweets About Luggage Aboard Air Force One. white house washington D.C. twitter Social Justice progressives President Trump Popular Culture Politics New York Times Morning Briefing Media maggie haberman Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post entitlements Endorsements donald trump democrats Conservatives comedy Allow Media Exception 2020 2019

Credit: Mattie Haberman via https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1163212440059961344

Ahhh the good ole New York Times. All the news that is fit to print in luggage via a tweet.

We all know that Donald Trump and the New York Times kinda have a love/hate/reallyhate relationship that is just fun to watch. In fact, Trump tweeted this about the NYT just yesterday…

The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office, hopefully in 6 years. They have Zero credibility and are losing a fortune, even now, especially after their massive unfunded liability. I’m fairly certain they’ll endorse me just to keep it all going!

That last line about endorsing him to keep the paper going is what we call some high quality trolling via twitter. Now we can’t be sure if this was the cause of this next tweet but let’s just assume it was.

One of the Times reporters felt the need to report on…..luggage.

Louis Vitton luggage being removed from the baggage hold of AF1.

Now of course in defense of Maggie we don’t know if that is President Trump and his families bags. She doesn’t say either. However, the implication of it all is that a member of America’s military standing under the most protected plane in the world next to some fancy luggage HAS TO BE the guy who takes shots at her employer via twitter.

Honestly, this is not a bad troll job either by the Lois Lane wannabe. I’m not even going to poke fun at her for getting the name of the luggage wrong.  I looked all over for Louis Vitton luggage and I could not find one damn instance of it being made. This is just one of those situations that any young reporter tweeting about luggage would get mixed up when trying to break a story.

Tough business to be in yo.

So here is to you Maggie, for trying to be cute about tweeting about luggage in the hopes the unwashed masses would rise up against POTUS 45 and start a revolution that might gain you some of those SWEET Louis Vitton for when you need to flee the country.

Try next time about tweeting about President Trump’s sox.

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Sen. John Cornyn Mic Drops Sen. Chuck Schumer On Twitter Over Climate Change.

Westlake Legal Group john-cornyn-300x153 Sen. John Cornyn Mic Drops Sen. Chuck Schumer On Twitter Over Climate Change. washington D.C. twitter progressives President Trump Morning Briefing libertarian Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Entertainment donald trump collusion Climate Bipartisanship Allow Media Exception 2019 #metoo

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Both of the Senators from Texas seem to have a lot of fun on Twitter these days. When they get under the skin of people who get so upset over a joke, it makes reading a long thread all worthwhile.

The latest example of this comes from the Senior Senator from the great State of Texas, John Cornyn, who was having a bit of fun according to Hill Reporter

In recent years, the Democrats have become the party of combating climate change, while some Republicans willingly deny the effect. This includes Donald Trump. When the Midwest experienced a 60-degree day in January, the President tweeted, “What the hell is going on with Global Warming? Please come back fast, we need you!”

Democrats have continued to raise the alarm on climate change on Twitter and during the debates. John Cornyn recently mocked a call to climate action from New York Senator Chuck Schumer. The Texas senator was then blasted on Twitter for his blase attitude on the issue.

This is how the exchange went down on Donald Trumps fav social media app.

July 2019 was the hottest month ever, of any month, on record.

Climate change is the greatest threat facing our planet.

It’s about our kids. It’s about our health. It’s about the future.

We must act. https://noaa.gov/news/july-2019-was-hottest-month-on-record-for-planet

Sen. Cornyn simply responded back with this…

It’s summer, Chuck

BOOM. Did you hear that three word Mic Drop? You would think that was a harmless response.

You would be wrong because the feelings over facts crowd went BEZERK. Just read some of the hilarious comments below. My personal favorites are the people who yell that it is not SUMMER in the southern hemisphere. Glad they retained that bit of info from feelings humanitarian class.

After reading this link that Sen. Schumer posted from NOAA the Earth on avg has raised it’s temp by 1.71 degrees from historical averages. Yup. The whole globe.

So just playing along with the theory that the lefties toy with about car and factory emissions being a HUGE driver of this, why did the KYOTO agreement exclude China and India which are in the top five of the biggest polluters according to these standards? The United States was a participant but dropped out after Bush 43 took office. The United States was expected to once again abide by rules and pay fines while other countries skated free.

Where were these dedicated activists protesting for those countries to comply? I’m sure standing in line for the newest social media gadget to tweet out their disgust. How noble.

If the progressives in this country were not so busy calling everyone that disagrees with them a racist, homophobe, Russian colluder or climate change denier, they might actually want to take a page out of Sen. Cornyn’s book here and have some fun.

I challenge them to get such a hilarious response with just a three-word tweet.

I DARE YA!!

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Lieu: U.S. envoy to Israel has “allegiance to a foreign power”, must resign

Westlake Legal Group TedLieu Lieu: U.S. envoy to Israel has “allegiance to a foreign power”, must resign twitter The Blog Rep. Ted Lieu Israel dual allegiance anti-semitism

Rep. Ted Lieu wants to have his cake and eat it, too. He represents a district in the House of Representatives that includes the predominantly Jewish West Side of Los Angeles yet Thursday he allowed an anti-Semitic trope to get in the way of civil public discourse.

Lieu called for the resignation of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Lieu was angry that the ambassador was doing his job – supporting President Trump’s opinion and showing support for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to deny entry into Israel to Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Talib. Ted Lieu went on CNN and the interview took a dark turn. Lieu told Wolf Blitzer that Ambassador Friedman should resign for showing “allegiance to a foreign power.”

“Ambassador Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, actually I think he should resign,” Lieu told “The Situation Room” anchor Wolf Blitzer. “He doesn’t seem to understand that his allegiance is to America, not to a foreign power. He should be defending the rights of Americans to travel to other countries and to visit their relatives.”

Lieu chose to jump on the bandwagon with other loud voices on the left in support of the two freshman congresswomen who are known for little else than anti-Semitic screeds and loud opposition to President Trump. Netanyahu’s decision seemed particularly reasonable when the agenda of the two became known. The two were planning to promote the BDS movement and show support for the Palestinian Authority, including only visiting East Jerusalem. The intent of their visit, sponsored by a group in favor of BDS, was to provoke tension, not to learn or engage in productive dialogue. Why would anything else be expected from Omar and Tlaib? Their time in Congress has been chock-full of divisive behavior, not an inclination to work for unity.

Lieu also posted on Twitter, calling out the ambassador and Rep. Mo Brooks, as well as House Republican Whip Steve Scalise.

He deleted a tweet that accused Ambassador Friedman of “dual allegiance”, though. He admits to pushback by saying it was “brought to his attention” that the tweet was a bad one.

It’s all fun and games until the outraged Twitter mob comes for you.

This nonsense coming from Lieu is in conflict with his normal behavior towards support of Israel. He votes in support of Israel and also supports selling defense weapons to Israel. His votes anger the far left Jewish voters in his district. He voted against the BDS resolution put forward by the freshmen congresswomen. Acting against his own history in Congress makes Lieu look like an opportunist just out for a quick hit on cable television.

Accusing a Jew of dual allegiance is the oldest of tropes delivered by anti-Semites. Lieu didn’t bother to apologize when he deleted his tweet to Ambassador Friedman so that leads to the assumption that he was expressing what was in his heart. It exposes a level of prejudice held by the congressman that aligns with the anti-Semitic congresswomen. The left, including Lieu, love to slam President Trump for the words he uses. Perhaps it is time for some self-reflection by Rep. Lieu.

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Trump Tweets Invite To Meet Chinese Leader And Help Solve Hong Kong Crisis

Westlake Legal Group TrumpHongKong-300x153 Trump Tweets Invite To Meet Chinese Leader And Help Solve Hong Kong Crisis twitter Trump Front Page Stories Featured Story China Allow Media Exception 2019

(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

When Jack and the kids invented twitter I imagine they could have never imagined a President of the United States using the platform to lecture or invite leaders from around the world to meet. Yet, here we are in the “Age of Trump” and that is EXACTLY what is happening.

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted that the crisis in Hong Kong and the trade deal being negotiated with China are linked together and he would like to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping to discuss both.

According to the Wall Street Journal

President Trump suggested a “personal meeting” with China’s President Xi Jinping to discuss the escalating crisis in Hong Kong and warned China it must respond “humanely” to the protests if it wants to strike a trade deal.

Mr. Trump’s statement via Twitter marked a shift in tone in his public statements regarding the situation in Hong Kong and for the first time linked the administration’s fragile trade talks with Beijing to the protests. The Wednesday evening tweets came amid growing concern within the administration that China would respond with military force to the antigovernment protests that have shut down Hong Kong’s major international airport for the past two days.

Fears over a potentially violent crackdown have prompted concern among lawmakers from both parties, some of whom have been unequivocal in their support for the protesters.

Here are the Presidents tweets…

Good things were stated on the call with China the other day. They are eating the Tariffs with the devaluation of their currency and “pouring” money into their system. The American consumer is fine with or without the September date, but much good will come from the short…..

..deferral to December. It actually helps China more than us, but will be reciprocated. Millions of jobs are being lost in China to other non-Tariffed countries. Thousands of companies are leaving. Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!

And the kicker…

I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a “tough business.” I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?

This is a huge risk for the President but it is one that is keeping in the tradition of The United States with supporting freedom movements all over the world.

The markets have taken a dive the past week since it was announced that trade talks had broken down between the U.S. and China. Tariffs are a drain on economies and the strongest thing the President has to offer in his reelection bid next year is a historic economy. His insistence of China playing by the rules that most other countries play by and doing it via tariffs on Chinese goods comes with great risk politically.

Now that he is adding that he could help with the situation in Hong Kong is an even bigger gamble. The Chinese have been issuing warnings to the United States to back off and have even accused the U.S. of orchestrating these protests. No country like others meddling in internal affairs but the Chinese are more paranoid than most.

Trump just took the risk that linking a trade deal with the freedom movement taking place in Hong Kong is more important than his political fortune at home. The Chinese may very well turn this down flat and walk away from any deal thus gambling that they won’t need to deal with Trump after Nov. 2020.

This is truly brazen stuff.

When watching protesters half the world away wave the American Flag and hold up signs asking for the American President to help their cause, you have to just marvel at the times we live in.

Twitter diplomacy just got REAL.

I hope the President not only sticks by his guns here but also is able to strike a deal and help push the Chinese to some kind of agreement so that the protestors are able to continue living in Hong Kong as they have since they broke off from Britain some two decades ago.

Twitter diplomacy is here to stay as long as Donald Trump is the 45th President and I hope the kids at twitter are enjoying every moment of it like the rest of us are.

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