World-wide Worry Wednesday


An apparent Iranian influence operation targeting internet users worldwide is significantly bigger than previously identified, Reuters has found, encompassing a sprawling network of anonymous websites and social media accounts in 11 different languages.

Facebook and other companies said last week that multiple social media accounts and websites were part of an Iranian project to covertly influence public opinion in other countries. A Reuters analysis has identified 10 more sites and dozens of social media accounts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

U.S.-based cyber security firm FireEye Inc and Israeli firm ClearSky reviewed Reuters’ findings and said technical indicators showed the web of newly-identified sites and social media accounts – called the International Union of Virtual Media, or IUVM – was a piece of the same campaign, parts of which were taken down last week by Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc.

IUVM pushes content from Iranian state media and other outlets aligned with the government in Tehran across the internet, often obscuring the original source of the information such as Iran’s PressTV, FARS news agency and al-Manar TV run by the Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah.

PressTV, FARS, al-Manar TV and representatives for the Iranian government did not respond to requests for comment. The Iranian mission to the United Nations last week dismissed accusations of an Iranian influence campaign as “ridiculous.”

The extended network of disinformation highlights how multiple state-affiliated groups are exploiting social media to manipulate users and further their geopolitical agendas, and how difficult it is for tech companies to guard against political interference on their platforms.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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11 Responses to World-wide Worry Wednesday

  1. Den says:

    Internet; boondoggle or savior?

    Certain unscrupulous players rising to the occasion by polluting the internet with drivel and lies. Everywhere you go someone is trying to apply influence or rob you, what a system.

    Now we simply cannot live without the fragile network despite it’s shortcomings. Maybe there ought to be an Internet license to keep out the riffraff, improbable however, someone would find a way to circumvent the license process.

    It is an ugly game that everyone must play or be left behind, electronic extortion.

    Love it because you cannot leave it.


  2. David B. Benson says:

    A slow 17 minutes to the Hillside Cafe on another fine day.


    • David B. Benson says:

      Read that the majority of Americans cannot name a single supreme court justice. So I asked 5 freshmen at the Hillside Cafe. None of the 5 could. Gave them my “Vote for Liza Brown” pitch anyway. Amazed and pleased to find all 5 have registered.

      Day 4: 82+29=111 minutes.


  3. jim hitchcock says:

    In case you missed it:

    NYT’s editor explains the disappearance of reporter bylines on their digital site as ‘streamlining the reader experience’.



  4. Den says:

    Mickey Mouse fed up with his WH staff position:


  5. °¿º Carol says:

    Nothing much to report. Oh, had MSNBC on off and on today, still a lot of McCain which I tune out, unless I don’t. Like seeing his wife walk up to his casket set up in the Arizona capitol and kiss it. That keeps turning up everywhere now. Doesn’t move me, just annoys me. That should be private, but no. Private is for we peasants. His death has to be a big deal, lots of actors.

    Then there was talk of McCain’s wife taking his senate seat, or running for his seat, but kiss my ass. What makes her qualified for a job like that?

    Remember when Sonny Bono skiied into that tree and died? His wife took his congressional seat. I mean, what the hell? It’s baffling.


  6. Micki says:

    DOOMED — lifetime positions!

    WASHINGTON ― Senate Democrats just gave a huge gift to President Donald Trump: They agreed to expedite votes on 15 of his nominees to lifetime federal court seats because they wanted to go home.

    Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) had lined up votes for all those district court nominees last week. Normally, Senate rules require up to 30 hours of waiting time for each nominee ― something Democrats typically take advantage of to delay action on confirming Trump judges. But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) cut a deal with McConnell on Tuesday to bypass the wait times and let them all get through.

    Why? So Democrats could get back to campaigning and focusing on winning re-election in November. The Senate is now out of session until next Tuesday.

    Of the 15 nominees, six were confirmed by voice votes on Tuesday. Another one was confirmed on a recorded vote. The remaining eight will get quick votes next week.

    It’s a major win for Trump and McConnell, whose No. 1 priority is filling up federal courts with conservative judges ― many of whom are incredibly anti-abortion, anti–LGBTQ rights and anti–voting rights. Trump has gotten 26 circuit court judges confirmed, more than any other president at this point in his term. Another way of putting it: 1 in 7 U.S. circuit court seats is now filled by a judge nominated by Trump.

    Add that Trump put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and is poised to get another justice through, Brett Kavanaugh, and you’ve got a president drastically reshaping the nation’s courts for generations.


  7. Micki says:

    Let’s thin the gene pool…and get it to hell over with!!!

    From TNYT:

    Where would you expect to find restaurant meals highest in calories and sodium: Red Lobster, McDonald’s or the Cheesecake Factory?

    Using data from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Jane Brody’s Personal Health column this week reports that one of the worst chain-restaurant options might be the Cheesecake Factory’s Breakfast Burrito: “warm tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, chicken chorizo, cheese, crispy potatoes, avocado, peppers and onions, over spicy ranchero sauce.”

    She explains: “Nutritional information: 2,730 calories (more than a day’s worth, so I hope you’ll skip lunch and dinner), 4,630 milligrams of sodium (two days’ worth) and 73 grams of saturated fat (more than three days’ worth).

    You’d have to eat seven Sausage McMuffins from McDonald’s to equal the cardiovascular and waistline damage done by one burrito.”


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