On this weeks episode:
We recap a few of our favorite Twitter polls from the last week, Wonder why the president doing his job is supposedly news, especially when he wasn’t, and run away from the “exploding” wreckage of Obamacare.
This Week’s sermon:
I am addicted to Twitter. It’s probably because I love to interact with people, many of you might have found out about the podcast through Twitter because I spend a lot of time there making jokes and occasionally tweeting about the show. It’s entirely appropriate for me, a 25-year-old guy, to be on Twitter, I am not the leader of the free world.
Last Thursday the Senate Intelligence committee held their first open hearing on Russian election hacking, and I have to applaud the senators for the truly fantastic job they did. They remained unbiased, for the most part, and did some good work in educating the public about what happened in 2016.
I watched the whole 3-hour hearing and actually was amazed by what had been happening, I had never taken the time to dig into the specifics of Russian election hacking, and was surprised by how stunningly easy it all sounded.
Basically, there are thousands and thousands of fake Twitter and Facebook accounts across the internet. These accounts spread disinformation, and when enough of them tweet about a topic they can cause a subject to trend, making it appear on most user’s screens.
These Twitter bots work in networks, often retweeting stories from government controlled Russian news network RT, or often just behaving like any normal Twitter troll. There’s several actions they take that are atypical however.
One of the witnesses the Senate questioned explained how Russian bots tweet at Trump when they think he will be online in an attempt to get him to push fake news. Others specifically try to promote InfoWars and Prison Planet, peddling the conspiracy nonsense that many on the far right eat up these days.
I started wondering, how can you find these Russian bots? As it turns out, it’s really not that hard. There’s several things you can look for to determine if an account is a bot.
- They often have no profile picture, and if they do, it is usually a cartoon, random stock photo, or a copied and pasted photo you can reverse image search and find all over the place.
- They use hashtags excessively.
- They often have a strangely large number of tweets, despite being a young account.
- Their English is strange, sort of like the foreign exchange students in family guy
- They engage in very trollish behavior.
If you happen to find yourself thinking, “a lot of this applies to the @kevandbenedict Twitter account,” just remember, Russian trolls don’t have their own podcasts.
In the main segment:
Benedict and Kevin’s cities are both under threat from that rascally scoundrel Jeff Sessions.
The U.S. Government is almost out of money. (What’s New?)
Ann Coulter (A.K.A. the Wicked Witch of the East) is coming to visit U.C. Berkeley and the town will burn down again.
In The Anything But Trump Segment:
Theresa May told the European Union to screw off.
Protests erupted in Russia, leading to my favorite picture of the week.
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