The Report: Part I: Active Measures
July 19, 2019 3:58 PM - Subscribe

It is 2014 in St. Petersburg, Russia. In the heart of the city, a small nondescript office building sits beside the Bolshaya Nevka River. Inside, workers stare at computer screens open to Facebook and Twitter, furiously typing. Their task: Sow discord, disinformation, and doubt. Their target: The United States of America. Through fake social media accounts and armies of bots, they are flooding online media with disinformation. This is a Troll Farm. It's name: The Internet Research Agency.

A new podcast from premier legal blog Lawfare:
For the past several weeks, a group of us has been working on a project to tell the story of the Mueller Report in an accessible form. The Mueller Report tells a heck of a story, a bunch of incredible stories, actually. But it does so in a form that’s hard for a lot of people to take in. It’s very long. It’s legally dense in spots. It’s marred with redactions. It’s also, shall we say, not optimized for your reading pleasure.

Various folks have made efforts to make the document easier to consume: the report is now an audiobook; it’s been staged as a play; there have been live readings. We took a different approach: a serialized narrative podcast.

The extended network of writers, experts, lawyers, and journalists around Lawfare represents a unique body of expertise in the public conversation of the issues discussed in the report. So we teamed up with Goat Rodeo, a podcast production group in Washington, to use that group of people as a lens through which to tell the story contained in the report. The first episode, entitled “Active Measures,” is now out and covers the Russian social media campaign and the activities of the Internet Research Agency.

It features Alina Polyakova, Clint Watts, John Sipher, and Thomas Rid.
I'll try and get a post up shortly after each episode posts. Let's try and focus conversation on the content of the episodes and not rehash whatever is going on in the politics threads.
posted by General Malaise (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Listened to the first episode on the way home from work today. It's really well done and put together. First episode does a great job of introducing Russia's campaign to sow discord and disinformation, something they've been trying to do for decades, but made way easier with the internet and social. Highly recommend. Also, now can't wait to see how the really dig into the details and legal issues of the report.
posted by General Malaise at 3:59 PM on July 19, 2019

Just listened to the first episode. I was sanding trim prior to painting so I might have missed this (I'm also not on Facebook/Twitter) but when the US (FBI? NSA? CIA?) discovered all the IRA troll Facebook and Twitter accounts and posts, were they removed by F/T? I think they were, but my question is, did they just disappear from everyone's timeline or whatever, ie "this tweet was deleted"? Or was there some kind of message inserted in its place like "it's been determined that this post originated from a Russian troll farm"? so that believers can see just how often they were had. Not that theyd ever think that.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:16 AM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Direct link to episode 1 page, and the MP3 itself (39 minutes, 54 MB).
posted by Monochrome at 6:59 PM on October 30, 2019

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