Russian Infiltration Of Word Press Blogs

Blogger-friend Xena has written a post that is so important I had to share it with you. You may remember the one I re-blogged earlier today from Gronda regarding Russian trolls and bots. This post details some of the ways in which Russia has infiltrated WordPress blogs, and it is truly eye-opening, so please take a few minutes to read. Thank you so much, Xena for all the work you have put into this excellent post, and for your permission to re-blog!

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

In spite of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warning Russia to “quit messing around in our elections,” Russians have not stopped.  They continue their influence and propaganda.  With social media such as Facebook and Twitter taking note and making changes, Russian propagandists have turned to Word Press blogs.

Earlier this year, I received notifications from Word Press for email followers.  I didn’t pay much attention to the first one because there are people who follow this blog via email who do not have Word Press accounts to comment.   When I received two more notifications on the same day, and they too had Outlook email addresses, I knew that was not usual.  I checked a Word Press forum and found that others were experiencing the same and were concerned about it.

A thread in one Word Press forum began in January 2018.   Also in January, a blogger named Ray wrote…

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21 thoughts on “Russian Infiltration Of Word Press Blogs

  1. Thanks for sharing this Jill. You can bet we will scrutinize those who follow our blog a lot more. One of the things I have worried about is this exact issue. It’s pretty clear what the Russians are doing. It’s too bad we don’t have a patriotic president that we could count on to get to the bottom of this. We have to stay vigilant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s sad that every time a new bit of technology is invented, somebody is just waiting to find a way to use it for evil purposes. I don’t worry too much as far as my blog … I just keep a close eye on comments and make sure I know how I am interacting with. Yes, we must stay vigilant and I am always amazed by people who allow vendors to store their bank account or credit card number, and then wonder how a charge for a hotel in Tokyo got onto their credit card! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, that’s the internet for you. We can’t live with it…we can’t live without it. So many scams out there. It’s very unnerving to say the least. It’s the new normal unfortunately

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the problem with outlook, but took some measures that has curbed it (for now) until some other form of infiltration is found.

    To be honest, I am not sure how long I will continue on here. Drawing back seems to be the answer, but then I think, that is what they want us to do. If we do not connect, we do not know anything and the lies can be sold as truths so much more easily.
    All of this is an insidious and an attempt to make us afraid of our own shadow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • True … it’s hard to know what to do sometimes … we just have to go with our instincts. If you stop blogging, I hope you’ll stay in touch via email … you have become a treasured friend in this vast sea they call the internet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You would be missed and just because we are fallible humans apt to make mistakes , or swallow false bait is no reason not to contribute.;
      after all if we are wrong we can but admit it .
      The world is full of highly intelligent people some of whom are bent on deception for all sorts of reasons so we need to ‘rethink about education and intelligence and stop worshipping the golden calf.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Some MPs in the UK believe we are in a democratic crisis due to manipulation of personal data and fake news. The report on the Cambridge Analytica scandal speaks of the relentless targeting of hyper-partisan views which play to the fears and prejudices of people.
    Facebook and utube claim they are just platforms and not responsible for the content and it is not easy to say how much censorship should be practiced on these platforms, however they continually tamper with their content , it’s part of their business model.
    The problem lies in the written word ‘ the pen is mightier than the sword ‘ and everywhere we turn we are confronted with print.
    ‘ Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon’s mouth.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • A democratic crises? Hmmm … perhaps, but if so it isn’t solely as a result of data manipulation and fake news. Greed of humans and lack of education & common sense certainly play a large role. We really ought to have sense enough not to believe everything we see on Fox or some of the less responsible media outlets. And we ought to have the sense not to fall for the hoaxes and scams. We created the technology … now it’s time to understand its shortcomings and take steps to correct them. Meanwhile … trust no one!

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      • I’m sure you agree not much can be done about greed so what about common sense and education. Education is marching ahead at a tremendous rate the universities are pouring out graduates faster than ever. Everyone believes they have common sense after all who would admit to not having such a widespread article.
        When someone dies the accepted procedure is to say what an exceptional person they were — it’s called spin and is used in all political battles.
        Exaggerated truth , statements with a grain of truth , all this sort of stuff is the common currency of the media. Profiles on Facebook are nearly always polished and anyway they are but a small fragment of the lives of even the most active users.
        If something bad about Mr Trump comes to my notice I might well exaggerate and magnify it if I already don’t like his views, but I might be much kinder to Bernie Sanders for the opposite reasons.
        Bishop Peter Ball fooled Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury who have both apologised publicly , neither of these men are fools so it shows how easy it is for any one to be deceived.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah … the universities may be “pouring out graduates” faster than ever, but quantity does not necessarily equal quality. In many cases, those graduates being dumped out cannot write an intelligible letter, let alone a doctoral thesis!

          Yes, I always find it amazing that somebody who was crass, bossy and loved by none, suddenly becomes a ‘good man’ once he expires. I believe in the old, ‘call a spade a bloody shovel’. If he was a son-of-a-bitch, then either say so or say nothing. Death doesn’t somehow erase the past.

          Profiles are, admittedly, difficult, for how does one define a whole life in 2-3 paragraphs? I don’t use one on Facebook, and mine here on WordPress is only a few of the highlights of which I am most proud. It doesn’t note that I was guilty of shoplifting at age 4, for example. 🙂

          To your final point … I know you are right, and I am as guilty as any of it. If I see something that he did right, I skim on past in search of something less savory. Sigh. We are all human.

          Like

  4. As a non-blogger, this is way beyond me. I am strictly a simple follower that does not have a Word Press account. Thus, I can follow blogs like Gronda’s but not comment there. I follow many sorts of blogs and meet this obstacle frequently. On those blogs I can not comment, which could be a blessing in disguise for them. My eldest Daughter often tries to talk me into getting an account, but I have not felt the need or so inclined. I have been content to wander into one blog and meander from there into others…sometimes it is just a visit and other times I stay. Too many words to say that trolls and viruses may be good reasons to continue as I have been, safely…I think? Thank-you for this shared post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you would be very wise to keep doing just as you have been. Since you don’t have any desire to start writing a blog, there is absolutely no reason for you to expose yourself any more than necessary. Always good to beware and know the dangers that are out there, though.

      Like

  5. Thank you for sharing. The other day I checked my stats and noticed for the first time one visitor from Eastern Europe in the Red zone. It hasnt happened again and to be fair I knew the title was going to be provocative. It hasnt happened again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wrote about this several months ago and questioned WP about it. I was receiving several followers daily all with an outlook.com address. When I check my followers list they had been removed. I sometimes receive really bizarre or inappropriate comments. I delete those from my site. Even more problematic recently has been FB. I deleted my Twitter account yesterday. Even more disconcerting is when I am streaming MSNBC and that blue screen notice appears that an error report is being sent. My computer then shuts down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For some reason, I have been lucky and don’t think I have gotten any followers with the outlook.com addresses … knock on wood. I haven’t had a problem with my computer shutting down this evening, and it’s been going strong for 14 hours now. Again, knock on wood.

      Liked by 1 person

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