The Times (UK): the strangeness of our policies cannot be attributed only to the actions of Russia

Even during the elections of 2019, when Brexton still had problems, and the pandemic was not, and the Prime Minister could still all day to be the main topic of the news, hiding in the fridge, a few very observant hackers and enthusiasts felt that the plot was uncovered. Like, in Facebook user responses to the posts, which are placed by the Conservative party, became very suspicious.

First, many of them with amazing (if not a suspiciously soothing) unanimity simply wrote: “amazing genius Boris”. Then gradually their views began to change, though there was some kind of glitch in the program. Posts users have begun to take approximately like this: “//stunning clever” &name=”Boris”.code:syntatx/error/”.

There were hundreds of them, they continuous flow were down on the screen, it raged like a mad robot.

“Ha! — some thought. — This is Dominic Cummings! (Dominic Cummings) Or Russian! Or Cummings and Russian! Their evil plan to enter the public astray with using software Internet bots revealed!”. So no. On the contrary. Did the supporters of Johnson, which separately, independently from each other, but the “in unison” was just pretending, posing as bots, running in favor of Johnson.

And he did it for fun. Because, as he put in his post on Facebook by one user under the name Fight4Brexit, “it infuriates those who are against Breccia”.

We all know that the opinions that I Express my bots, can be taken as the opinion of people. However, for those who explore the spread of misinformation on the Internet, a more serious problem may be that the extent to which people are expressing their opinions, sometimes similar to bots. Usually they do this without even planning to, they do it by itself. Some call this puzzle “is a bot or a pensioner”, which is funny, though unfair to some seniors. In 2017, one news website with confidence recognized in the Twitter user under the nickname @Didgery77332 Russian bot, based on what he wrote messages all day that “he has horrible English” and “Pro-Russian position”. Further investigation revealed that it was languishing from boredom, the security guard from Glasgow, which is just not very good at spelling.

Probably, this week the government will finally publish a report of the Committee on intelligence and security on Russia’s interference in British democracy, which since March last year lying forgotten beneath the cloth. It, it, of course, is not just about the bots and the Internet. Edward Lucas (Edward Lucas), who participated in the preparation of salary, wrote yesterday in this edition of “the penetration of our institutions and processes and undermine”.
But it needs to be a report about how easily the “dark voices” are interfering in our public discussion about the inability of successive governments to think and care about it. Last week Dominic Raab (Dominic Raab) said that during the elections of 2019 Russia tried to help Jeremy Corbin (Jeremy Corbyn), anonymous “extending the network of illegally obtained documents” talks Bracito. But feel about this should not Corbin, and Johnson. He at that time decided not to publish the report, which just about this and discussed.

If in connection with this report, there is a sense of some of the “failed numbers”, and it will not produce the desired impression, the main reason would be that we are too much of a wait. It could be felt last weekend, when authors of speculative articles in the press have warned us that soon we’ll know about the actions of Russian in all fields. Like (if not Vladimir Putin) would not have occurred quite dangerous era of populism, and at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games 2012 sir Paul McCartney was playing “Hey Jude” (Hey Jude). And like (when it is proven) we can just get it all off and go back.

Of course, this is nonsense. First, if the influence people can not affect them it is impossible. Change the opinion of the voter, and his opinion will change. Of course, maybe the elections were rigged. Perhaps in the course of the campaign to the forcing of “treatment” of this voter spent more money than the rules allowed, or may have been used data obtained illegally. Or maybe the government sent them propaganda pamphlets of dubious information, or perhaps most of the retweets that they saw in the networks, retweets someone named Dmitri, sitting in an office building in Saint Petersburg.

Well, what of it? Whatever the reason, these voters now think what they think, and if you again ask them the same question, they answer it the same way. There is no way back. It is not only that the damage was caused. The point is rather that, if he caused you, to say that it was ever damage anyone would find offensive and absurd.

For example, look for a member of Parliament, conservative Andrew Bridgen (Andrew Bridgen), a supporter of Breccia. This weekend, in response to the information report he has not read, he said: “We often see that the opponents of withdrawal from the EU can’t accept defeat and tried any way possible to refute the result of the referendum or question it”. Or if you want a look that told wonderful supporter of Breccia and well-known Russophile arrone banks (Arron Banks): “Russia’s Intervention in the referendum on Brexia became mythical mantra for irreconcilable opponents out of the EU when they tried all possible ways to challenge the result.” Perhaps it is unpleasant, but recalcitrant opponents Bikita should accept the result. Probably, except that it was revealed a few million bogus voters, no interference, no hacker attacks or outright fraud on the part of Russia or anyone else will not turn back the clock.

Meanwhile, supporters of Breccia should not attempt to use victory as an excuse, relieving them of the need to be vigilant. Reply Elina Smith (Alyn Smith), a spokesman for the Scottish national party on foreign Affairs, is instructive, especially because it seems likely that any interference in the referendum on independence has taken on the nature of information operations in computer networks. Given all that, is known to have occurred in other countries, he said, “It would be absurd if the Scottish discourse is not influenced by external forces.”

In the presence of activists who see under the beds “red”, and opponents, who for the sake of entertainment pretending to be bots and guards that do the same thing, because they have nothing else to do, and they can’t resist, detect real malicious tampering will always be difficult. And then, when political battles will end in victory or defeat, will always be very difficult to prove that it actually had some value. Even though this is proof why it is very important.