Ben Nimmo Profile picture
May 25, 2018 13 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thread: Interesting to look at online traffic on #MH17 over the past day and a half.

Hamilton68 shows that it's the top theme being discussed in the Kremlin, pro-Kremlin and fellow-traveller spheres.

But it doesn't look like the message is getting through...
This is a @sysomos scan of traffic on MH17 since yesterday morning.

Almost 150,000 tweets.

First spike: JIT naming the 53rd Brigade as the source of the missile.

Second spike: NL and Aus holding Russia responsible.
These are the ten most-retweeted tweets.

Dominated by breaking news and factual reporting, such as @RFERL, @BBCBreaking, @SpectatorIndex.
Further down into the top 50, traffic's still dominated by voices such as @Kasparov63, @ASLuhn and @ShaunWalker7.

And these less than flattering ones from @DarthPutinKGB and @NATOhawks.
One of the early Russian responses was that the JIT conclusions were a fake.

Search for "MH17 + fake" only returned 352 results.
... and even there, the best-performing tweets came from the likes of @AricToler, @Lucian_Kim and @IlvesToomas.
One favourite troll tactic is to denounce @Bellingcat as "Bellingcrap," because playground insults are so convincing.

Total traffic on "MH17 + Bellingcrap" since yesterday morning: 83 mentions, including retweets.

Or an average of almost exactly two per hour.

Not much...
How about in Russian?

Well, there's much less traffic.

Search "MH17 + Боинг" gives 4,811 results.

Search "MH17 + Бук" gives 8,640.
The most-retweeted posts aren't exactly favourable to the Kremlin narrative, either.
RT and Sputnik are doing their best to amplify the Kremlin's point of view.

Not really surprising: that's their job.

"Securing the national interests of the Russian Federation in the information sphere," as Sputnik's charter puts it.

Not getting huge traction, though.
The usual voices are defending the Kremlin line, but it doesn't look like they're getting much traction. Not enough to break out of the echo chamber.
And of course, there had to be an attack on the evidence, because: social media.

Told you that one was coming.
One final note: I searched for mentions of MH17 + the handles of Bellingcat, RT and Sputnik since yesterday morning.

Almost exactly 10x more Bellingcat mentions than RT ones.

Evidence counts. / Thread ends.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ben Nimmo

Ben Nimmo Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @benimmo

Oct 9, 2018
Thread: just a snapshot of the increasing polarisation of the US Twittersphere ahead of the midterms.

Polarised communities proved to be an easy target for influence operations in 2014-18.…
Scanned three sets of paired election-related hashtags: #VoteRed / #VoteBlue, #RedWave2018 / #BlueWave2018, #FlipItRed / #FlipItBlue.

First scan covered 48 hours. Overall, pro-Democratic hashtags got significantly higher traffic (79k posts compared with 47k posts).
On this scan, users of pro-Democratic hashtags were roughly double the number of users on pro-Republican hashtags (40k users compared with 21k users).
Read 6 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
I mentioned the Kremlin's standard response technique of dismiss, distort, distract, dismay.

Quite a few of the elements are here, in the latest Russian MFA responses to the OPCW / GRU hacking story.…
Dismiss: insult the critics. Plenty of that in the statement.

"Anti-Russian spy mania."
"Strong paranoia." (Not just "paranoia", you'll note.)
"Absurd anti-Russian attacks."
Interestingly, they didn't use the word "Russophobia" in this one, though it's been the bulwark of Kremlin defences since 2014.
Read 7 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
#OPCW hacking case: we've already had the Russian government trying to dismiss the latest UK / NL claims about the #GRU. That's tactic number 1.

Up next, expect attempts to distort, distract and dismay.
Distort. We saw this with the Skripal suspects, portrayed as "civilians" and snow-shy tourists.

Expect attempts to say that the photos were faked, the evidence was made up, and / or the men were harmless visitors on a diplomatic visit to fix the Embassy wifi.
Distract. Accuse the accusers.

Expect the arguments, "The West hacks people too," or "You killed civilians in Libya / Afghanistan / Vietnam / insert name here."

Which doesn't justify use of CW on civilians, or attempts to cover it up.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 13, 2018
#TrollTracker: interesting troll spike from the pro-Kremlin / pro-Assad gang against @janinedigi.

Image: @Sysomos scan of traffic over the past 7 days.
For those who don't know @janinedigi, here's a list of her awards as a war correspondent.

She reported from places including Grozny, Kosovo, Palestine, Rwanda, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here's the tweet which triggered the storm: a post saying that RT and Sputnik are not journalists.

That's a hell of a call for a genuine award-winning journalist to make, so let's look at evidence.
Read 11 tweets
Sep 6, 2018
Rare decision from @Ofcom here, finding broadcaster Ausaf UK no longer "fit and proper" to hold a licence.

Note that RT is also under scrutiny against the "fit and proper" criteria, but that Ofcom sets a high bar for these decisions.…
Particularly striking: Ausaf TV had its licence revoked before it started broadcasting, based on the content of the associated newspaper.

Including glorification of violent jihad and endorsement of listed terrorists.
Rather unwisely, the MD of the TV station initially denied that he was linked to the newspaper, then confirmed that he was.

Making false claims to the regulator is seldom a way to win confidence.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 6, 2018
Looks like someone tried to get hashtag SkripalHoax to trend overnight.

822 mentions. It really didn't do very well.
Let's look at some of the arguments.

Probably the most popular in the pro-Kremlin crowd was the claim that the Met Police photos of the arrival in Gatwick had the same timestamp, and therefore must have been photoshopped.
... unless there's more than one arrival channel at Gatwick, and they were walking together.

(h/t @bleidl for the photo)
Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!