Bot Theater Report

Every fighter in this thing should realize, and be humble enough to learn, that just about all of us have fallen for it at some point. Left, Right and Center. We’ve all been targeted and most of us have been successfully played on some level. The sophistication of Robert Mercer’s A.I. software at Cambridge Analytica, combined with the sophistication of the Russian cyber information attack is impressive. And you add to that, what is , frankly, GOP operatives here, on the ground in the U.S, directing the fire, and, well,… there is no shame in getting tricked by this operation. The only shame now is not admitting it and learning and moving forward better armed.

It’s no secret that I come at this from a Progressive Left point of view. The bot attacks directed at people like me were very effective at exacerbating my/our distrust of Clinton. Not enough to dissuade me, personally, from voting for her in the end, but it definitely caused tension that was not helpful and there is no doubt that it caused some on the margins to change their votes.

The ‘Bernie bro’ trope that the Middle Left railed against? Looks also to have been largely an information/bot amplified aggravation. I supported Sanders, and knew others who did as well. None of them fit the bot, and then media portrayed stereotype. The Middle Left got played as hard and effectively as the Progressive Left.

The bot and information attacks continue. There is now a minor tempest on the Left over the Progressive Left’s supposed dissing of Senator Kamala Harris. This bizarre disinformation thread goes back to the false ‘Bernie bros’ characterization that the Progressive Left is made up mostly of white male hipsters who are latently racist and sexist– that should be a huge red flag to the Middle Left. Personally I’ve been a fan of Harris since she ran for California Attorney General. But we see people like Joy Reid and Howard Dean criticizing the Progressive Left as ‘whiny’ or out of touch.

The bots and disinformation workers love to play on resentment. Don’t fall for it. Don’t. It does not help the cause at all. The bots are brewing discord on Senator Harris because she has shown herself competent and effective. The Middle Left and Progressive Left had better start treating each other as equals and view resentment based discord as very likely bot driven, and, like… real quick. We should have learned this lesson already. The bots and disinformation workers are not going to be waiting for us to figure this out. They are active. Right now. They are in your feed. They are telling you that the Middle Left is a bunch of corporate shills. They are in your feed right now telling you that the Progressive Left are a bunch of dangerous cry babies. Buy into it and you might as well be wearing a Trump/Putin campaign button.

Don’t do it.

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