"Dezinformatsiya"

Bloomberg reports: Russian Hackers Fueled Catalan Separatism, Madrid Institute Says.

Spain’s struggle to quash separatism in its Catalonia region was disrupted by Russian hackers agitating for a break-up, in a hallmark propaganda effort to fracture Europe, according to a government-backed research institute in Madrid.

The unidentified Russians spread both true and false messages on Facebook and Twitter during the illegal separatist referendum on Oct. 1, according to Mira Milosevich, a senior analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute. The “dezinformatsiya” campaign deployed trolls, bots and fake accounts, and was backed by intense coverage from Russia’s state-supported television, she said.

The most significant comments spread on Twitter and Facebook came from WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange and government-secrets leaker Edward Snowden, Milosevich said, particularly that the “banana republic” of Spain used violence to suffocate a democratic vote. The comments “were retweeted and shared on Facebook by trolls and bots,” she said.

For his Twitter profile photo, Assange is using a shot of Spanish riot police, clad in black protective gear, with one of them swinging his baton.

Political Prisoners

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