Sunday, January 27, 2019

Nada Bakos and the mystery of @ColumbiaBugle

Several months ago I bookmarked a tweet by Nada Bakos:
https://twitter.com/nadabakos/status/1018759990230671360
The tweet has since been deleted.  According to my notes, it said:
This account is exactly what was described in the @NPR article on Russian trolls posing as local news.
Nada Bakos was referring to the Twitter account @ColumbiaBugle.  She thought @ColumbiaBugle was a Russian troll.

The @ColumbiaBugle Twitter account
To support her hunch, Bakos linked to an NPR article that discussed how Russian trolls were posing as local news agencies on Twitter.  The fake accounts bore names that sounded like local news outlets--e.g. @ElPasoTopNews, @MilwaukeeVoice, @CamdenCityNews, etc...  Furthermore, they all shared legitimate news stories on Twitter.

@ColumbiaBugle doesn't bear any resemblance to those troll accounts.  He doesn't pretend to be a local news outlet.  Rather, he's a pro-Trump political commentator.  He wants to Build The Wall.  He's a fan of Tucker Carlson.  He's a Young Republican.  He also explained that the "Columbia" in his handle doesn't refer to a geographical region, but rather to Lady Columbia:


If Nada Bakos (or any other ex-CIA agent) wants to know the guy's identity, I'll tell you.  Just send me a DM on Twitter.  For everyone else, here's a hint:  Imagine how an old Japanese woman would describe the fat Buddha.

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