Thursday, April 26, 2018

Jill Stein makes a statement on Russian Interference in the 2016 Election

Today, Jill Stein handed documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and is cooperating with their investigation.  Stein pointed out that:
Concerns about foreign interference should not distract us from interference in plain sight originating from within our own borders. That includes the actions of the Democratic National Committee, which biased its party’s own primaries, effectively disenfranchising millions of Bernie Sanders’ voters; corporate media that gave Donald Trump billions in extra free airtime because he was “damn good” for network profits, in the words of CBS’ CEO; or voter suppression schemes like voter ID laws, Interstate Crosscheck and felon disenfranchisement that systematically deny millions of Americans their constitutional right to vote. 
While there is no "constitutional right to vote" in the US despite it being the foundation of a democratic (or republican) society, I agree with the sentiments expressed by her.[1]

She points out that the internal meddling of Cambridge Analytica was far more egregious than the Russians, which is something that isn't really new. However, it is something which needs to be reiterated:
The cutting-edge tactics of the Cambridge Analytica scandal make alleged Russian social media meddling look primitive and insignificant by comparison. Cambridge Analytica is accused of using without permission the private information of up to 87 million people, assembling thousands of data points on individuals to craft micro-targeted messages in a campaign of mass manipulation with the scale and sophistication of military-style psy-ops. The actions of the Russian Internet Research Agency, on the other hand, appear to be the opposite of sophisticated and strategic. The lack of targeting, timing and relevance of the vast majority of their Facebook ads underscores the doubts expressed by investigative reporters who’ve suggested the Internet Research Agency may in fact be a “click-bait” factory intended to generate advertising revenue, and not an election meddling operation. The insignificant numbers of the Internet Research Agency’s social media posts - compared to the vastness of the social media universe -  further diminishes the claim that it had significant impact on the election outcome. Facebook posts from the Internet Research Agency amounted to a mere 0.0004% of total Facebook content; Russian-associated tweets accounted for 0.02% of election related tweets, and Russian-linked Youtube videos had hit totals only in the hundreds, hardly the stuff of viral transmission.
I agree with her that the internal US meddling and obstruction of democracy is far more of a problem than "Russian interference".

You can read her statement here.

See also her interview with the Real News Network.

  1. The right to vote is the foundation of any democracy. Yet most Americans do not realize that we do not have a constitutionally protected right to vote. While there are amendments to the U.S. Constitution that prohibit discrimination based on race (15th), sex (19th) and age (26th), no affirmative right to vote exists.

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