New Twitter Files Story Raises Question: Is It Hoaxes All the Way Down?
Susan Schmidt's dive into the Twitter Files is the latest to show ties between a growing number of fake news schemes involving Russian bots. How many frauds are there left to discover?
It’s been known since the winter of 2018-2019 that professional political operatives engaged in multiple online fraud schemes in the 2017 Alabama Special Election between Republican Roy Moore and the eventual winner, Democrat Doug Jones. A company called New Knowledge was outed by the New York Times for creating fake Russian Twitter accounts and having them follow Moore, and also nabbed in a scheme involving fake Facebook campaigns to boost a write-in candidate and tie Moore to a nonexistent push to outlaw alcohol in Alabama.
Although those stories remain woefully undercovered, today’s Twitter Files story by Susan Schmidt isn’t about the Alabama cases, or the Hamilton 68 story, which turned out to be related through the New Knowledge CEO. Those stories remain undercovered, but Susan isn’t re-tracing that ground. The chief issue in her exposé involves a report prepared for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Russian bot activity by New Knowledge that was released on December 17, 2018, with then-ranking member Mark Warner calling it a “bombshell.” The most damning new passage Susan releases is in an email written that day by Twitter’s Nick Pickles:
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