Jul 12, 2018

Report: Russians spent years exploiting trust in local news on social media

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm that was one of three entities indicted by Robert Mueller for conspiring to interfere in the 2016 election, created 48 Twitter accounts dating back to 2014 that were designed to mimic local news outlets, according to an investigation by NPR.

Why it matters: The now-suspended accounts, which had names like @ElPasoTopNews and @Seattle_Post, gained the trust of thousands of followers over the course of two years by posting real local news headlines. The potential for these accounts to mobilize at any moment and influence a narrative suggests that the Russian misinformation campaign — which was evidently a years-long effort — had an acute understanding of the authority and respect that local news commands in American society.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 5,449,135 — Total deaths: 345,721 — Total recoveries — 2,188,200Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,647,741 — Total deaths: 97,811 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina.
  4. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown
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Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dominic Cummings: "I respectfully disagree" that I broke U.K. lockdown rules

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Dominic Cummings, the top aide to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, defended himself at a press conference Monday against allegations that he broke the U.K.'s coronavirus lockdown rules by traveling to his parents' home last month while exhibiting symptoms.

What he said: "I respectfully disagree. The legal rules do not necessarily cover all circumstances, especially the ones I found myself in," Cummings told the assembled press.

Netanyahu says July 1 deadline for West Bank annexation won't change

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that his July 1 deadline for starting the process of annexation in the West Bank will not change, according to people in attendance.

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