back to article Tumblr troll-ban follows February indictments

A group of Russian “troll factory” operators indicted in February were tagged by Tumblr last year. The Oath-owned microblogging site said last Friday that it identified the suspect accounts during (northern hemisphere) Autumn 2017. The outfit's post said “we uncovered 84 Tumblr accounts linked to the Russian government …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Это все ерунда.

    Мы не будем этого делать. Мы слишком заняты фиксацией разрушенных BMW.

    ;-)

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Это все ерунда.

      Use google translate better next time while invoking Godwin Law 2.0. Or ask a native speaker.

      Fixing as in "repar" != Фиксация. Фиксация is a technical term with two meanings:

      1. The process of fixing a pigment or color to make it permanent, f.e. the second stage of good old "proper" photfilm development.

      2. Having a fixation on something to an obsessive level. Like Godwin law v2.0 level.

      The correct one will be "починяю" as in "сижу никому не мешаю, починяю примус".

      Разрушенный == Destroyed. Totally. Not damaged. That would be поврежденный.

      In any case the whole spiel is in their opposition (Friday) (*), Mainline (Saturday) and European press (Saturday/Sunday) and it is way scarier than any of the delusional idiocies promoted by the dear Oxford graduates. It is scary as HELL. Beyond HELL actually.

      Why UK is the only country on the continent where it has not been published - ask whoever has taken a superinjunction or a IRA/Thatcher prohibition order.

      (*)Some of the stuff published had top-secret stamps. The UK equivalent would have been our press getting their mits and publishing the Salisbury criminal file in its entirety. So much for them not having a freedom of press and us having it by the way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Это все ерунда.

        "Это все ерунда. // Мы этого не сделаем. Мы слишком заняты фиксацией разрушенного BMW."

        "It's all nonsense. // We will not do this. We are too busy fixing the ruined BMW."

        Sorry about the "fixing". It goes back-and-forth reliably in Google Translate.

        "Разрушенный == Destroyed. Totally." Yes, that. Exactly !!!!

        You missed the entire "Arthur Tussik BMW 7" thing?

        It's very close to becoming a meme.

        So, you're half right. Maybe.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    If the site detects future “state-sponsored disinformation campaigns”, the company said, it will

    "If" is the big word in that statement. And then there's the time factor so, I guess,, that identifying after the damage is done is ok then? Very reassuring they are.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is beginning to look like censorship. If someone has opinions which the establishment doesn’t like they will be declared a (insert villain of the week) troll and effectively silenced.

    Essentially we are reintroducing the category of undesirable persons, because this is part of the rules based liberal order.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Essentially we are reintroducing the category of undesirable persons,

      I do not recall a single point in time when the opinions of the Enemy have been desirable.

      Cittizen, you will have the opinion mandated - even if it is mandated by a known pathological liar.

      Valid on all sides. Every time. All the time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Онанирающая рука Воланда, or Коровьев, I think you missed the point. Just because an opinion may be considered undesirable by our political masters doesn’t mean they should be suppressed and the holders of said opinions trampled underfoot. That is what happens in nasty repressive places, and if you want our democracies to go down that path, that is your problem. Some of us value our freedom too much to hand it over to the state or “experts”.

        The entire argument of Bulgakov’s novel from which you take your nom de plume is about personal freedom in the face of the state.

        1. Marcus Fil

          Personal freedom but..

          I fully support an individual's right to freedom of expression even if they work for GRU or FSB. However, if said individual is pretending to be a southern US redneck and spreading disinformation and malcontent then they deserve to be called on it. Facebook, Tumblr et al do not exist to become branches of anyone's intelligence services.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Personal freedom but..

            Tumblr et al do not exist to become branches of anyone's intelligence services.

            The services in all countries on all sides of the curtains will beg to differ.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Personal freedom but..

            Why is it acceptable to use the racially perjorative term “redneck” for disadvantaged and poor people living in rural USA? Or don’t you think they and their views deserve any respect?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Personal freedom but..

              "Why is it acceptable to use the racially perjorative term “redneck” for disadvantaged and poor people living in rural USA?"

              Rednecks don't need to be rural, disadvantaged or poor. Just white. And ideally racist.

              Hillbilly is more your rural poor insult.

              PS it's pejorative, from the Latin perjoratus. One r.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Personal freedom but..

                Thank you for fixing my racist insults – I will now be able to use them correctly.

                My bad about the spelling, I had been reading some Martial, and this new tangled spelling sometimes gets me.

            2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: Personal freedom but..

              The article states "special counsel Robert Mueller said the trolls would fabricate American identities like staceyredneck@gmail.com". At face value, Mr.Internet-Researchovitch of Moscow was specifically and deliberately identifying as "redscare", I mean "redneck". Mind you, this is from approximately the sector of U.S. government that took a little bottle of cornflour into the United Nations building and told everyone that it was anthrax from Iraq, or something. So it's not wrong to be slightly sceptical.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          The entire argument of Bulgakov’s novel from which you take your nom de plume

          Close but no cigar. Re-reading Bulgakov is highly recommended. Koroviev likes shooting straight. I do not. I like ricochets.

          As far as suppression... As I noted a few posts above. Their press (started by the opposition by the way) published the criminal files dating back to 1996 related to what we call Novichok. The correct name is: "D-1980". The reprint has been SUPPRESSED in the UK press since Friday.

          The criminal files date 1996-2002, cross-reference checkout completely including other non-UK NATO sources which have spoken so far and inclusive of some details which did not make any sense before now fall in place. And they are scary as HELL.

          The equivalent in the UK would have been the press getting their mitts on the Litvinenko classified archive (something closed, but LESS explosive and of roughly same age) and publishing it openly in violation of the Secrets Act. When they show same level of chutzpah, I will gladly agree with your w*nking about suppression.

    2. MonkeyCee

      tumblr is not the government

      It's a little worrying that not only the commentards can't tell the difference between a private company and the government, neither can the bloody company.

      "Removing those authentic posts without your consent would encroach on your free speech"

      No it won't. Because you (tumblr) are not the government, thus cannot impact anyones right to free speech*. Tumblr can (and does) remove, block and prohibit content *on it's service*, and should be able to do so. In fact, restricting tumblr's right to do so would be an infringement of free speech.

      "This is beginning to look like censorship."

      Private company removes content posted on private company's server. That's not censorship. If the feds had told tumblr, facebook et al to take the content down, then it could be. But you'll notice that the feds have a weird habit of strictly following the laws, which apparently is part of the recruitment process, along with shiny shoes, bad suits and the insertion of a stick up ones ass.

      That tumblr et al are falling over themselves to self regulate rather than be regulated is another matter.

      * perhaps with the use of a legal instrument like a NDA or an injunction

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: tumblr is not the government

        Tumblr can (and does) remove, block and prohibit content *on it's service*, and should be able to do so. In fact, restricting tumblr's right to do so would be an infringement of free speech.

        Sorta... IMHO it is much more about preserving Tumblr indemnity under Section 230 of the CDA and other statutes than about anything else. If it starts killing posts for openly political reasons it will lose its immunity under that section. Thus, it removes only content which has been declared an exception to that section in the CDA, one of the later statutes or as a precedent/ruling by a court.

        If USA gets a law about censoring anything on the basis that it smells of the foreign enemy du jour they will do it with glee. As long as there is no such law, they will not threaten their CDA immunity so nothing will be deleted.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: tumblr is not the government

        @MonkeyCee I assume that you are supporting Jack Phillips in the US Supreme Court? By the same argument he should not be compelled to bake cakes for something he disagrees with.

    3. Tigra 07
      Big Brother

      RE: AC

      Ireland is in the process of introducing such a vaguely/badly worded anti Fake News law that it punishes with huge fines or 5 years in prison for sharing links or publishing what is considered by the Government to be Fake News.

      It is so badly worded that even writing an article disputing a piece of Fake News would be illegal under the law.

      We need free speech laws in the UK and Ireland

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Koroviev likes shooting straight. I do not. I like ricochets.

    Your argument lost me: you will have to fill out the missing steps from the above line, and come to a conclusion – I think there is one but I can’t work it out.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Your argument lost me: you will have to fill out the missing steps from the above line, and come to a conclusion

      I will not. There is D-Notice on it (so I expect this to be deleted). It is the first time know of when a D-Notice has been used to cover staggering incompetence and defend the fact that we have a prime minister and a foreign minister off their rails and off their medication.

      Go and read it in the European or Russian opposition press. Some of the material has been translated in to English by now. Makes a fascinating read.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on....

    This is Tumblr not some news site. How do you know you've found a site setup by Russian trolls, regular trolls or just some angsty teenager who does or doesn't understand something?

    Or were people treating Tumblr as some form of truth? * shudders *

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Hang on....

      Tumblr is Berlin during the Weimar Republic, decadent, debauched and likely to offend as surely as it is to mete out arbitrary justice.

      I, for one, feel very at home there :-)

  6. Old Handle
    WTF?

    Tumblr already lost all respect I may have ever held for them with their earlier censorship sprees, but this Russian infiltrator thing is just absurd. There were only 84 accounts, a ridiculously tiny fraction of their userbase. But they claim I interacted with 2 of them. And this is a seldom used, non politics oriented blog! It doesn't even make sense.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boosted?

    "Russian pro-propaganda accounts boosted". Do you mean "booted"?

    1. ds6 Bronze badge

      Kick on the turbo and blast on out of here

      So fast they're gone!... I think they missed a turn.

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