Saturday, September 12, 2020

PeaceData.net on Reddit

Graphika published a report on the PeaceData.net network, which was attributed to Russia's Internet Research Agency.  The website never reached a wide audience, but it's still interesting to look at the IRA's activity.

In addition to the main website (PeaceData.net), the network also consisted of social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  One of the Twitter profiles was "Alice Schultz" (@AliceSc14113509), which was created on June 3, 2020.  I looked on Reddit and a found a user named /u/AliceSchultz25, which is just about the fakest-sounding username you could come up with.  Alice's account was created on June 1, 2020.  She shared two links to PeaceData.net in /r/History and made another self-post in /r/PoliticalDiscussion (which likely contained a link to PeaceData.net).  All three links were removed by the automod and none of them got any upvotes.

I went onto RedditSearch.io, and found 10 other submission to PeaceData.net.  The most successful of these posts received 6 upvotes.

One post came from /u/Thisisntthespace, which is a shadowbanned account, so I can't see when the account was created.

So I assume /u/AliceSchultz25 is a sockpuppet, and perhaps /u/Thisisntthespace was a sockpuppet, too.  None of the other submissions came from accounts that I would say are sockpuppets, but I'll give a summary for the sake of completeness.

Three posts came from /u/gregorjamessmith40, which is a four-month old account with a lot of posts about Turkey and Syria and the Middle East.  He shares a lot of links to sites I haven't heard of, such as LibyaPolicy.com and TheArabWeekly.com.

Two posts came from /u/kavabean2, which is a 12-year-old account with 112,000 karma points.  KavaBean2 is a moderator of /r/Labour and he shares links to a lot of left-wing sites such as PeoplesWorld.org and PeoplesDispatch.com.

One post came from /u/IntnsRed, which is a 14-year-old account with 400,000 karma points.  IntnsRed is a moderator of /r/WorldPolitics2, and he shares links to a ton of websites, including The Guardian, Newsweek, and CounterPunch.

Two posts came from /u/captainwaffles, which is a 10-year-old account.  CaptainWaffles also shares links to videos from Jimmy Dore and articles by Aaron Maté.

One post came from /u/human-no560, and he was sharing the link in order to highlight an example of Russian propaganda, so that doesn't really count. 

Below are all the links:

AliceSchultz25:
https://www.reddit.com/r/history/comments/gugch5/war_crimes_committed_by_british_troops_peacedata/
https://www.reddit.com/r/history/comments/gugpx0/western_special_services_role_in_the/
https://www.reddit.com/r/PoliticalDiscussion/comments/gugynt/brazils_ailing_welfare_state_clashes_against/

Thisisntthespace:
https://www.reddit.com/r/inthenews/comments/h9h4my/indian_government_is_abusing_the_covid19_lockdown/

Gregorjamessmith40:
https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews2/comments/hi1sxx/how_erdogans_government_is_hiring_mercenaries_for/
https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/hi1rjz/how_erdogans_government_is_hiring_mercenaries_for/
https://www.reddit.com/r/socialmedianews/comments/hi1sls/how_erdogans_government_is_hiring_mercenaries_for/

KavaBean2:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Labour/comments/i7r06n/housing_how_coronavirus_has_exposed_this/
https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/i7r2f9/housing_how_coronavirus_has_exposed_this/

CaptainWaffles:
https://www.reddit.com/r/InformedTankie/comments/igr827/svetlana_tikhanovskayas_deleted_webpages_show/
https://www.reddit.com/r/LateStageImperialism/comments/igr7tf/svetlana_tikhanovskayas_deleted_webpages_show/

IntnsRed:
https://www.reddit.com/r/worldpolitics2/comments/i4lb98/does_the_us_military_assassinate_journalists_the/

Human-no560:
https://www.reddit.com/r/ActiveMeasures/comments/ikzshh/this_is_the_website_the_russians_were_using_to/

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Why was Carpe Donktum beefing with Luke O'Brien?

Here's something I was planing to write a while ago.  It will be interesting to approximately five people on the planet. 

Last year, I collaborated with BuzzFeed on an article about Carpe Donktum, the pro-Trump memesmith.  At the time, few people knew Carpe Donktum's real name, and the BuzzFeed article talked about how Carpe used a fake alias (Dennis F. Charles) while appearing on an OANN program.  The article  didn't reveal Carpe's real name, and, admittedly, the whole thing came off kind of clunky.  It was posted on July 15, 2019.

A few days later, Carpe Donktum got into a Twitter spat with Luke O'Brien of the Huffington Post.  Carpe claimed he'd received an e-mail from an INSIDER at HuffPost who said the site was planning to dox him in an upcoming piece, and that the author of this upcoming piece was Luke O'Brien.

I trust Carpe was telling the truth when he said he received an e-mail.  But I have my doubts as to whether the e-mail really came from an INSIDER at the Huffington Post.  My guess is the e-mail came from some random dude.  Carpe took the e-mail seriously, and he sent a text message to a Huffington Post editor about the non-existent article. 

The next sequence is a bit hazy, because Carpe Donktum's Twitter account has since been suspended.  I think he made some tweets about how Luke O'Brien was planning to dox him, which caused people to contact Luke O'Brien, which then caused Luke to send out this tweet on Saturday, July 20th:


Carpe then displayed some poor reading comprehension.  He thought he was being accused personally of having sent Luke O'Brien a DM (which is something he'd never done).  Carpe then got indignant and accused Luke O'Brien of lying.

At this point, Luke O'Brien figured "Screw it" and he decided to tweet out Carpe Donktum's real name (Logan Cook).  The name was already floating around Twitter at that point, so it wasn't like Luke had to do much digging.  I don't think he planned any of this in advance.  He was simply reacting to all the weird tweets he was getting.  The drama had become a self-fulfilling prophecy:  Carpe Donktum accused Luke O'Brien of planning to dox him, and so Luke O'Brien went ahead and doxed him.  Carpe Donktum then released a prepared video message which revealed that his name was, in fact, Logan Cook.


Over the next week, Carpe Donktum kept saying Luke O'Brien was a liar, and Luke O'Brien, in turn, called Carpe Donktum a liar.  I don't think Luke O'Brien ever challenged the specific claim that there was an INSIDER at the Huffington Post.  He said repeatedly that HuffPost was never planning to run the article, but I don't think he ever addressed how the misinformation sprouted in the first place.

It seems Carpe Donktum is still sore at Luke O'Brien.  After getting suspended by Twitter, Carpe posted an image on Facebook complaining about how Luke O'Brien's Twitter account was still active.

I feel like this whole spat could've been short-circuited with a single pointed question delivered at the right time.  All someone would've had to do was ask Carpe Donktum about the e-mail.  I realize there's a chance it came from a legitimate insider, but I would bet it didn't

In any case, I transcribed some of Carpe's interviews and Periscopes from around this time.  Three of the four videos are gone (only the one from Ali's Perscope is still up), so you'll have to trust that these transcripts are accurate.

From one of Carpe Donktum's Periscopes on July 20, 2019, titled "Sir, I am going to use love for political purposes, and love will win":
The guy that works for Huffington Post, the guy that was gonna write an article on me finally posted something.  A scathing review of me, where he mentioned that I was somebody that was in his DMs.  That's a lie.  I've never sent Luke any DMs, which is kinda hilarious because it's so easy to verify.  All he has to do is post the DMs...I did, however, send a text message to his editor.  His editor has their cell phone number on their profile, so it was pretty easy to get in contact with him.  I sent him a text message which I also posted, which was basically just saying:  'Hey, your guy, your employee, didn't reach out to me even though they were gonna write a story about me where they printed my real name without my consent.'  And I never received a reply back from the editor, but Luke is obviously upset, obviously upset about that.  And I believe what he said is that I "cried" to his editor, which is not what I did...It's obvious fake news.  And I talked to Ali for a little bit, live, about it.  It's pathetic, really.
This is what the mainstream media does.  They try to write pieces about people and they never reach out for comments.  They write slanderous things.  They don't even bother to reach out for comment.  I provided them--Huffington Post--with the opportunity to get a comment but they never responded.  They also never posted a piece.  Here's the funny part about all this is that they never reached out for comment, I never would have known that they were gonna publish it if I hadn't had an insider that had told me in advance that they were running a piece.  They would have published without talking to me. They wouldn't have even reached out to me at all.  I'm sure in the piece they would have said 'We reached out to Carpe Donktum for comment but he did not respond.'  I'm sure that's what it would've been had I not found out about it beforehand and gotten ahead of it.  But that's how the media operates.
From another of Carpe Donktum's Periscopes, titled "Have a few minutes":
BuzzFeed was gonna dox me on Tuesday.  And then they decided after getting pummeled on Twitter, they decided not to do it.  And then the next day I got an e-mail from an insider somewhere around Huffington Post saying "Hey, Huffington Post is preparing to release your name too."  Then we did the whole release statement and Rick-Roll and all that stuff.  Then I heard back that they weren't planning on running that story anymore.  So Huffington Post retracted.
...
I was lucky though that somebody sent me an e-mail, because I would have had no idea that Huffington Post was even going to do a story because they never contacted me.  I ended up calling the editor of the guy that was gonna do the article--I'm not even name his name--but I called his editor and left him a--well, it went straight to voicemail so I texted him and I just said, 'Hey, I was gonna give you an opportunity to comment before you ran my name against my will, and give you an opportunity, because nobody has contacted me from your publication about this story.  So just thought you guys would want to at least get my comment before you get yourselves in a world of hurt.'
From an interview with Owen Shroyer of InfoWars TV, dated June 22, 2019):
It actually started on Tuesday of last week with BuzzFeed wanting to publish my name.  They decided not to after some public outcry, and then the next day I got a message from somebody from the Huffington Post saying they were gonna print it.  My source told me that it was Luke O'Brien from the Huffington Post.  Later that night they didn't actually print it, but then the next day and over the midnight hour Luke threw a giant fit on Twitter, and then the next morning he ended up doing the thing that he said he wasn't planning to do, and he actually exposed me on--I think it was Thursday.
From one of Ali's Periscopes, titled "Late night with Ali and Carpe calls in":
This Huffington Post guy, though, man, he's got some cajones on him...The DMs don't exist.  I've never DM'ed the dude, and he's never DM'ed me as far as I know.