Vladimir Putin 'will be all over Twitter' says Baer
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Elon Musk’s decision to restore suspended Twitter accounts using unregulated framework could have serious ramifications for the West’s support of Ukraine in its defence against Russia, a CNN intellgence and Security analyst has warned. Russian bots and disinformation will proliferate on the platform and heavily target the US in an effort to reduce America’s and the world’s support for Ukraine.
CNN Intelligence and Security analyst Bob Baer said: “Putin is going to be all over Twitter if there’s no regulations on these fake accounts, spoofed accounts.
“This is a great opportunity for him. When Musk is talking about the popular voice, he’s really talking about Russian intelligence.
“The Russians are waiting for something like this. They need a propaganda campaign against the United States and against our support for Ukraine.
“I guarantee this: there will be over Twitter supporting the far-right plans, demands to stop arming Ukraine.”
CNN’s Bob Baer warned the Russian disinformation will have ripple effect and contaminate the social media platform across continents with the intent of appealing to the far-right.
He said: “One piece of disinformation that is half believable will go a long way around the world and truly affect our policy.”
Elon Musk has used the freedom of speech argument to hold a public vote on Twitter on whether former US President Donald Trump should be resinstated on the platform.
After holding a public vote in which any Twitter users could take part, Mr Musk later acknowledged Russian bots had taken part in the poll without giving specifics as to the extent of the Kremlin’s interference in the vote.
Russia-Ukraine analysts like Eurasia’s President and political scientist Ian Bremmer raised question about the legitimacy of the vote with a Twitter-certified graph showing Elon Musk has 70.2 percent of fake followers.
Elon Musk himself admitted the “bot attack is impressive” in a tweet shortly after the vote closed, adding: “Bot & troll armies might be running out of steam soon. Some interesting lessons to clean up future polls.”
In another poll held earlier on Elon Musk’s Twitter account, a majority of respondents voted against his Ukraine-Russia peace plan. His plan included provisions that the Kremlin had previously opposed, including redoing elections of annexed regions under UN supervision, preserving Ukraine’s neutrality and making Crimea a Russia territory.
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One twitter user wondered how many bots were activated to turn around the original result.
Elon Musk reacted to the tweet, saying: “Indeed. Biggest bot attack I’ve ever seen”.
The Kremlin has a history of interfering in foreign elections to shift the results in their favour like in the 2016 US Presidential Elections, the Brexit referendum and the Scotland’s independence referendum.
President Vladimir Putin himself ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at undermining public trust in the US democratic process, denigrating Democratic ptresidential candidate Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.
In a damning report following the Brexit vote the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee found that the government, along with its intelligence and security services, “underestimated the response required to the Russian threat and are still playing catch up.”
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