Today, the Alliance for Securing Democracy launched “Hamilton 68” a dashboard website that shows what 600 Twitter accounts known to be affiliated with the Russian government are doing to try to shape the conversations we are having in America.
The Hamilton 68 dashboard, launching today as part of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, provides a near real-time look at Russian propaganda and disinformation efforts online. The top of the page shows tweets from official Russian propaganda outlets in English, and a short post discussing the themes of the day. This is Russia’s overt messaging.
But these disinformation networks also include bots and trolls that synchronize to promote Russian messaging themes, including attack campaigns and the spreading of disinformation. Some of these accounts are directly controlled by Russia, others are users who on their own initiative reliably repeat and amplify Russian themes. Our analysis is based on linked 600 Twitter accounts to Russian influence activities online, and the lower section of the dashboard features charts that display topics, hashtags, and links currently promoted by this network.
The dashboard is fascinating. It shows, for example, tweet activity from known Russian propaganda accounts. Notice the massive escalation that started in relation to the G20 Summit and the resulting fallout after Trump’s meetings with Putin.
It also shows leading hashtags being used to push certain subjects to the forefront. I’m amused to see MAGA at the top of the list. Figures.
As explained by Clint Watts:
More about the Alliance to Secure Democracy:
Finding out what happened in the United States in 2016 and the impact it had is important. But that is not enough. The U.S. intelligence community assessed in January 2017 that “Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes.” Russia’s efforts are also ongoing across Europe — and we also need to prepare for other state actors to replicate Putin’s tactics. Moreover, Putin does not distinguish between political parties, but rather seeks to sow and exploit divisions. When our democratic institutions are weakened, every party and democratic nation is at risk.
Meeting this challenge to our democracy demands that Republicans and Democrats in the United States unite with our democratic allies around the world to better understand Russia’s multifaceted aggression in order to defend ourselves and our democratic partners, and deter such activity in the future.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative housed at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions. The Alliance will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.
Really interesting stuff.
It is nice to know that even if our own government isn’t doing much to protect us, others have jumped in with both feet. Rock on good people.