Rappler “investigative” report on Russian “influence” on Philippine social media a big FAIL

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On cue, a bevy of social media “influencers” are cheering the latest conspiracy theories surrounding purported Russian “influence” on Philippine social media. In their “investigative report” Russian disinformation system influences PH social media, Rapplerettes Vernise Tantuco, Wayne Manuel, Michael Bueza, Glenda Marie Castro and Gemma Mendoza (collectively billed the “Rappler Research Team”) go to amusing lengths to describe a network of influence that links “Russia and the St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), a state-sponsored troll farm” to writer on geopolitics Adam Garrie who, they claim “writes for websites known to spread misleading claims, and who has been quoted extensively in online posts and interviewed by news networks with links to Iran and Russia.”

Once this link to Garrie is “established” this “research team” then ropes into this “conspiracy”, Philippine-based website The Daily Sentry, former ambassador and Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao, and bloggers RJ Nieto and Sass Rogando Sasot among others on the basis of the number of times they cite Garrie’s work. As if the kind of conclusions these Rapplerettes draw from this sophomoric “analyses” weren’t enough, they refrain from any form of actual evaluation of the substance of the actual published works of these personalities and sites. Indeed, making no judgement on whether the content in Garrie’s work is “fake” or constitutes “misinformation” or “propgaganda” or any of the adjectives used by Fake News Crybabies to summarily indict content producers and publishers, it is evident that Garrie’s body of work requires a thorough examination before any of his assertions can be glibly debunked — perhaps an initiative beyond the “expertise” of this “research team”, to be fair.

As far as can be seen, this report is but a pale shadow of the work of the characters and organisations it presumes to merely label as agents in a grand conspiracy to influence Philippine politics. Thing is, who is even not into the content production business to influence people to begin with? Everyone in this space is out to persuade people or influence politics. Anyone who claims that they aren’t is, for sure, the biggest hypocrite of the lot.

If these Rapplerettes are going to demonise anyone because of some sort of perceived “link” to foreign agents or governments, then, perhaps, they should train their “investigative” chops on the real deal and not look too far (and stretch their imagination) beyond that of the Roman Catholic Church. Ancient texts clearly document the absolute subservience of the agents of this organisation to a foreign government — that of the Vatican City and its head of state the Pope himself. Considering it is an organisation controlled by a foreign government all the more makes notable the vast infrastructure of influence it operates in the Philippines. The Church — and, by command responsibility, Rome — operates extensive broadcast and other mass media facilities, runs exclusive schools attended by the children of the country’s most powerful oligarchs, and exerts virtual mind control over an enormous number of voters. In that regard, the influence of the unabashedly foreign-controlled Roman Catholic Church and its henchmen in the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) dwarfs any semblance of the imagined fantastical influence the Russian government may exert on Philippine society being cooked up by Rappler‘s so-called “research team”.

Before these ladies apply their quack “investigative” methoodology on their selected enemies, they should first make sure it does not backfire on an ally of theirs — in this case, their overlords in the Philippines’ premiere kingmaker, the Catholic Church. Obviously, these Rapplerettes can’t think that far ahead nor beyond the little cluckety echo chambers they’ve coocooned themselves within.

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13 Comments on “Rappler “investigative” report on Russian “influence” on Philippine social media a big FAIL”

  1. It’s a pretty crappy “Exclusive” article https://archive.fo/cfaEV Where if you take a closer look at the “evidence” it’s all about guilt by association or flimsy data analysis, and finally, taking Facebook as an arbiter of truth too seriously. And glad to know that they didn’t bother to actually contact the guy while continuing on their crusade that this man is a “Russian Operative” while getting several facts wrong. Attacking him because of his political views while not putting a disclosure that Rappler is part of the Omidyar Network of global propagandists, how brave.

  2. Any country can influence other country in the HyperSpace. It depends on the recipients of the influence. If the U.S./C.I.A. puts a disinformation article in the Web blogs; no one can prevent it.

    The CyberSpace is still an uncharted territory in our times. So, it is ridiculous for those Maria Reesa’s “Rapplelites ” to conclude that Russia is influencing the Filipinos thru the Web Sites. They just want these Web Sites to be banned; and muzzle all Filipino Bloggers, who are ordinary Filipinos, who have also views and opinions for their country.

    These Aquino Cojuangco political axis paid hacks and trolls cannot stop all of us, thru their paid “computer hackers”…we are wiser than them !

    1. RAPPLER BROKE THE NEWS ON RUSSIAN INFLUENCE OVER PHILIPPINES … WoW !!!

      THIS IS BIG …. HUGE !!!!

      Russia influence Brexit …. influence Donald Trump winning the presidency …. AND PHILIPPINES !!!

      PHILIPPINES IS HUGE !!!! CONGRATULATION RAPPLER !!!!! CLAPPITY-CLAP-CLAP !!!! Unraveling Russian influence requires cyber-agents (does Filipino have the kukote? First, Rappler should fix slow crawling government Philippine websites, OK?). Investigators like FBI and NSA and CIA which Filipinos do not have.

      Rappler couldn’t even find the mutinieers of Peninsula hotel how much more cyber-attacks ….

      BUT GOOD ENTERTAINMENT. Rappler deserves another Time-of-the-Year cover.

    2. WRETCHED DECLINE OF TIME MAGAZINE – Why benign0 when gaga over Rappler’s Time-of-the-year cover

      https://www.wired.com/beyond-the-beyond/2018/02/dismal-tale-wretched-decline-time-magazine/

      TIME MAGAZINE IS NO MORE so is NEWSWEEK …. nobody reads Time Magazine. The only person who went nuts about it is Rappler.

      To prove Rappler’s mettle they are now investigating Russia Influence. HAR! HAR! HAR! HAR!

      GOSH, I JUST CANNOT GET OVER IT ….

      Now, Rappler, tell the Filipinos can your government make an investigation like Mueller does? Or, this would be another circus?

      What if nobody investigates Rappler’s claimed Russian influence? WOULD RAPPLER COMMIT SUICIDE DUE TO BEING NEGLECTED AND EMBARASSMENT

  3. RUSSIAN INFLUENCE ON PHILIPPINE SOCIAL MEDIA – Rappler !!!

    HAR! HAR! HAR! HAR! AHA! HA! HA! HA! GOOD JOB RAPPLER !!! Now, Rappler, tell the Filipino people what Russia would get out of by influencing Philippine Social Media.

    I know for sure, Russian prostitutes are the coveted prostitutes in Metro Manila. Maybe Russia is selling Russian prostitutes?

    I should go back reading Rappler for entertainment. I need to laugh a little. My doctor said LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE !!!!

    HAR! HAR! HAR! HAR!

    WHAT AMERICA DOES, PHILIPPINES DO, TOO !!!!

    Remember when Bill Clinton was impeached? IT BECAME A VOGUE IN THE PHILIPPINES … there were plenty of impeachments after Bill …. HAR! HAR! HAR!

    1. RAPPLER WILL PROPOSE TO IMPOSE ECONOMIC EMBARGO AGAINST RUSSIA !!!

      Why not? They should. Rappler gaya-gaya America that their election have been hacked and put Donald Trump on the throne.

      In the coming election if Rappler’s candidates loses the election Rappler will blame Russia. THEN WHAT?

  4. well now
    this bit of amusing news ties in nicely with the latest punitive measure the US has imposed vs the Phils.
    that of banning the issuance of work visas to Flips on account of “overstaying” visitors

    Flips have always “overstayed” in the US since time immemorial
    along with other nationalities who break US immigration law in this regard
    and the US Immigration Dept has always deported these offenders back to their own country_as always
    but never have these Yanquis suspended granting work permits to visa applicants
    on account of this issue_its business as usual at their little hacienda along Roxas Blvd

    this latest Yanqui stunt clearly proves to hopelessly brainwashed Flips that CaptainAmerica
    IS, WAS, AND NEVER WILL BE a “staunch ally ”
    A tired cliche that deluded Yanquis dangle in front of mesmerized Flips for a lot of good reasons

    It is plain to behold that showing interest in Russian culture by enlightened FIlipinos
    constitutes a heinous crime against the US, who still unwittingly regard itself
    as the de facto colonial overlord of these 7,641 beautiful islands
    Thanks largely to PX-merchandize, Facebook, Apple and Hollywood-addicted Indios

  5. RUSSIA NEED NOT INFLUENCE PHILIPPINE SOCIAL MEDIA … China did not … China just built runway in Scarborough Shoal with the help of Filipinos. WHAT? With the help of Filipinos? Yes, Filipinos supplied sand-and-gravel AND TO THIS DAY THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT and RAPPLER have not sent them to prison.

    All Russia has to do is send their Russian Pacific Fleet to Spratleys … no need to influence Philippine Social Media.

    By the way, Filipinos better learn chuvash, Tuvin and Russian IF China secede Philippines to them.

  6. RAPPLER IS INVESTIGATING THE WRONG TREE !!! INSTEAD OF INVESTIGATING RUSSIA …. THEY SHOULD INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGED KILLINGS OF DUTERTE !!! I-J-I-T

    How they should investigate the killings instead of blaming it all on Duterte?
    Here is one, Ballistic tests. Out of 12,000 kills how many of the kills have matching ballistics?
    Two. What caliber? What make of gun? Were they killed by uranium-depleted bullets?
    Three. Trajectory. How close?
    Four. What do the kills have in common? Drugs? Jealous neighbor? Are they in Duterte’s drug list?
    Five. If they were in Duterte’s drug list why not do a dragnet of all in Duterte’s list?
    Six. Why kill druggies? Why not torture them for information who they bought the drugs from. Who supplied them drugs-for-sale?

    RAPPLER JOURNALISTS ARE IDIOTS !!!! Not only Rappler ALL PHILIPPINE NEWSPAPERS ARE IJITS !

  7. For any reputable person or organization to be successful, that person’s or organization’s actions must be based on solid information, not conspiracy theories, not hearsay, not rumors, and certainly not fear mongering.

  8. Roman Catholic “Church” would have qualified for {word/phrase in double quotes} #22, but I guess that’s still up for debate.

  9. That demand by Garrie for an apology by Rappler is golden. It makes Rappler look like the libelers now. If Garrie was able to file a libel case in this country against them, that would make for great popcorn.

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