Death Star the new Trump campaign of lies

Kathy

“They're calling it the "Death Star." While supporters of the various Democratic candidates for president pummel each other online, Grand Moff Brad Parscale, Donald Trump's campaign manager, is deploying this appropriately nicknamed $1 billion disinformation machine with the real potential to obliterate even the most perfect Democratic ticket this fall. For starters.

Among other things, this raises an extraordinarily important question: How exactly do the Democrats fight back against what amounts to a nuclear arsenal of lies and kooky conspiracy theories? We'll circle back to that.

McKay Coppins' terrifying new article for The Atlantic, "The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President," about Parscale's Rosslyn, Virginia-based agitprop factory, the "Death Star," is a stop-the-presses moment for this election. Frankly, the size and despot-scale cynicism of Parscale's project is almost too much to comprehend, rendering the myriad other Jenga pieces in this election small by comparison.

In essence what Coppins exposes here is everything we've heard about the nefarious, Robert Mueller-indicted Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, Russia, but knocked off and weaponized domestically by Trump and Parscale, with the purpose of brainwashing millions of American social media users, poisoning their minds by polluting their Facebook feeds with laser-targeted, customized propaganda designed to make sure Trump gets a second term.

Coppins calls it "the most extensive disinformation campaign in U.S. history."

https://www.salon.com/2020/02/11/how-should-democrats-fight-back-against-trumps-billion-dollar-death-star/

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Comments (23)
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vgkg (Va Z-7)

Death Star? nyuk, just one more example of who went to the Dark Side.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

That was a great and most upsetting read. Thank you for posting it.

The only way to inoculate against this kind of manipulation is through education.

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katrina_ellen

You mean like what's been happening with Trump ever since he was elected?

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adoptedbyhounds

Oh, the irony!

FTA: Among other things, this raises an extraordinarily important question: How exactly do the Democrats fight back against what amounts to a nuclear arsenal of lies and kooky conspiracy theories?

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Joaniepoanie

Exactly how many people do they think are “on the fence” about Trump at this point? We’ve had nearly five years of nonstop Trump now. If you really haven’t taken a position by now, you’re most likely apathetic about politics and won’t vote anyway.

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queenmargo

Remember the left likes to point their fingers at exactly what they are doing/done/ did/ will.....

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dandyfopp

Fox News had a 20 year head start. The ground was fertile.

Education as a preventative, deprogramming after.


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blfenton

As noted in the OP - The Atlantic published an article about this $1B disinformation project of trump and the republicans recently. It is a scary read. It's long but really informative.

I posted the link to it on another thread and I mentioned at the time that I hope he leaves the allies out of this project of his.

I don't know if Death Star is supposed to be a Star Wars reference or not but either way, it tells you all you need to know about trumps end game. trumps goal and that of the republicans, is to destroy truth.

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katrina_ellen

The irony for sure.

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barncatz

I've honestly wondered how you beat someone who lies as easily as he breathes. An investigation proves his campaign wasn't spied on and ten minutes later, he is whining about his campaign being spied on.

To me, Bloomberg seems to have the best ability to cut through -- maybe because of their long history.


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rob333 (zone 7a)

here is a video which is shorter than the fantastic Atlantic article, and all about memes



(which says the same thing)


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katrina_ellen

Brought to you by Salon magazine - lol!

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

By the way, winning is winning in our system, so I have zero reason to believe these tactics are or will be limited to one side of the aisle.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

It's one sided, at this point. Some have integrity and logic, and stooping to that level isn't happening. Most of us want the truth and we want dependability and tact. Those that want an in your face rebel to take a flame thrower to this country will get there at all costs, even against their own morals.

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adoptedbyhounds

Thanks for posting the Meme Theory video, rob. It was fun to watch, and I enjoyed the analysis of how memes were used in the Trump campaign.

I'll be watching for more examples of how memes can be used in the next election.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

It appears that Cambridge Analytica has morphed into Death Star -- I need to read the Atlantic article.

When the news of CA broke, I remember thinking how vulnerable our election campaigns are; their precise targeting of disinformation could be done by a US organization and be perfectly legal.

When one side has an abundance of cynicism plus ambition, and a deficit of morals, our system can easily be gamed.

Heaven help us.

*

Edited to add: I remember the comments when Parscale was announced to be part of Trump's 2020 team; dirty campaigning was expected because of his past association with Cambridge Analytica in 2016.

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dandyfopp


By the way, winning is winning in our system, so I have zero reason to believe these tactics are or will be limited to one side of the aisle.


Only a question of when.


And get used to a lawless winner take all presidency.

The pendulum swings wide.

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mudhouse

I enjoyed watching the video, Rob. Thanks for posting it. I actually agreed with many parts of it, and it was interesting to get his take on memes.

The main thing I disagree with in the video and OP is how they gloss over the importance of the content in the meme. The message seems to be that false ideas are spread (EmpLemon says, like a virus) mostly because of the successful delivery mechanism. Repetition, instant grasp, social media, etc.

But memes only work when they strike a chord in the mind of the viewer. There are lots of failed memes made every day. We only see the successful ones; the others die an anonymous death from lack of attention. The successful ones are repeated because they illustrate something that people agree with.

I've seen people say "Trump has no platform" or that he doesn't present ideas or policies at his speeches or rallies. That's not true, but the content presented in those events is often treated as if it doesn't exist, or it isn't worth discussing.

The video and the article do the same thing with the content of memes. The popular ideas presented inside right-leaning memes is what the left should be worried about. Not the fact that memes are a popular way to communicate.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Today Terry Gross interviews McKay Coppins, the reporter who wrote the Atlantic article.

The portion that I heard was excellent.

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adoptedbyhounds

"It appears that Cambridge Analytica has morphed into Death Star -- I need to read the Atlantic article."

When you do, please let me know where or if "Death Star" is said to be the company's name. I saw only a reference to an unnamed GOP strategist dubbing the company as Death Star.

When I hear Death Star, I see that giant weapon and the evil oppressors casually blowing up a peaceful planet to punish the rebels.

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chipotle


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blfenton

When I hear Death Star, I see that giant weapon and the evil oppressors casually blowing up a peaceful planet to punish the rebels.

Me, too. So who or what are the rebels now? Liberals? those deemed by trump to be his enemies? the truth?

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catspa_zone9sunset14

When I hear Death Star, I see that giant weapon and the evil oppressors casually blowing up a peaceful planet to punish the rebels.

Best description of the Trump administration that I've heard all week.

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