Fascinating Twitter thread.

One week after the Mueller Report was released, the top video on it recommended by the Youtube algorithm was .... Russia Today's.

<< So YouTube's algorithm massively recommends Russia's take on the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. >>

<< 3/ DIY: TheSoul publishing company, founded by Russians, produces more than 1500 YouTube videos per month and owns some of the major YouTube channels such as "5-Minute crafts", that are massively recommended (cf below). >>

<< So while 96.5% of American YouTubers can't break poverty line with their work, a handful of Russians mysteriously dominate large parts of YouTube >>

I imagine 'huge piles of right wing oligarch money poured into clickfarms' isn't actually THAT mysterious an explanation except that it's probably a trade secret to everyone who's not Google.

U.S. Politics 

U.S. Politics 

U.S. Politics 

@natecull when i search it's like all really mainstream stuff, like CBSN, MSNBC, Fox News, LastWeekTonight, CNN, PBS NewsHour, VICE, ABC, Trevor Noah, CBS News.

I trust none of these, quite frankly, often even less than RT. Sooner go to DemocracyNow or TheIntercept.

People like Rachel Maddow have hurt the case against Trump with their stupid obsession.

@natecull As terrible as this may seem, it's worth noting that the video was of Aaron Maté, who is a credible, independent journalist not employed by RT.

As much as I hate Trump, I also a, not eager to jump onto a train that:

a.) Promotes bigotry against people, (Russians).

b.) Allows Democrats to do phony opposition while giving Trump the largest military budget ever, for example.

c.) Inches us closer to WW III

d.) Promotes Mueller, MSNBC etc. who knowingly lied about Iraq as credible.


You make a number of points here and all I would like to say is:

Pointing out that a fascist regime (which is actively promoting and installing fascist groups worldwide) is fascist is not 'bigotry' by most interpretations of the word I understand.

You don't actually need to align yourself with a fascist regime and defend their honour. Really you don't. Nothing requires us to. It is entirely a personal choice to do so if you wish.

@natecull The problem is that when you say things like "Russia"/"Russians" meddle etc. you're implicitly waking up that old cold war mentality that Americans were programmed for, to see the Russians as some other, sinister force.

I don't need to have any affinity for the Russian government to know this, talknig to regular people is sufficient.

Just because point a.) is true, (Putin's a right winger), doesn't mean the people who seek to benefit the most from peddling Russiagate are better.

@natecull The truly progressive left-wing position should be that Maddow is a propagandist supporting intervention, war and escalation, so her points are no good imperialist propaganda.

What you say is not your idea, but hers originally. 😉

Supporting Mueller is also not woke: he's the former propagandist of WMD narrative in Iraq.


Nope, I have nothing to do with Rachel Maddow. She's way late to the party.

Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo, on the other hand, broke the Trump-Russia connection way back in 2015, during the campaign. That's when I started paying attention.

@natecull But you keep using the mainstream convention Trump-Russia. That is insulting. If you want to say ''some billionaires'' (even the word ''oligarchs'' is only ever used in eastern contexts if you think about it...), or-Trump-and-this-man-connection. Fine. Believe what you will.

But the lexicon of ''Russiagate'' is intentionally ''Russia-phobic (and by extension east europe/former USSR- phobic too one could speculate)...



Trump-Russia is real. I'm going to explain this only once because I don't think you're arguing in good faith here.

Trump is conspiring with FOREIGN NATIONALS to subvert his country's government.

There's a word for that. It's a very important word.

Working with billionaires in your own country to break laws? That's conspiracy.

Conspiring with foreign nationals? That's treason.

It's important that we understand this.

But, I think you're only pretending not to understand.

@natecull I think I am pretending to understand that the cold-war Russia speciffically mentality is weird? Why not Saudi foreign nationals too? etc, etc.

Trump is and idiot, yes, bravo. You can criticise him without cheering for increased tensions, which democrats now do (republicans always did it) is my point.

I don;t think you are intentionally malicious here. But the propagandists in the MiC and media are.

Perhaps the old ''big-bad-Russa'' narrative started before Trump on Syria etc? Hm...

@halcek What *I* think you're pretending not to understand - because it is VERY well documented and VERY clear to see, such that one has to deliberately not WANT to see it - is that Russia, since 2014 at least, has been conducting organised and deliberate information operations against the West.

It is very easy to understand Russia's motives because they are very simple:

* Russia wants to break up NATO
* Russia wants to break up the EU

And understanding this makes a lot of murky things clear.

@halcek Is Russia justified in attacking the EU and NATO, and in backing and partnering with hard-right splinter factions all across Europe and America?

Well, from Russia's perspective this is a 'defensive' action because they are VERY unhappy with America taking Ukraine away from them in 2014, and using social media to do it.

So to an extent, I can see this as just another war between great powers, neither side particularly moral.

But: it is obvious that Russia is backing the hard right.


Alternatively, one can also read this as the hard right within UK and USA politics EAGERLY JUMPING into Russia's arms. Literally (in Trump's case) begging the Russian military intelligence to support their private political campaign.

Is this.... normal kind of behaviour, in the West? Not just the partnering with foreign militaries to act against their *domestic* rivals... but doing it out loud, not caring who notices?

I don't think so. I think this is a new level of escalation.


We saw similar things happening in the 1940s, with hard-left factions in the UK and USA committing treason by sending state secrets to Soviet Russia.

Now we are seeing the same thing happen but with the hard right, and a post-Soviet, fascist Russia.

Yes, the relationship with Saudi is also very problematic. But the Russians post 2014 seem to be harder edged than the Saudis. The Saudis are backing jihadis, but not neo-Nazis.

It's not just Russia, but Russia is a new and hard edge.


Frankly, I didn't care AT ALL about Russia right up through the Snowden affair. I was even cheering for Snowden. I still think the NSA is extremely creepy.

But when Russia and Russian information assets all smoothly pivoted to backing Trump, *that's* when I started seeing Russia as a threat.

So I'm annoyed with Russia *because of their support for Trump* (and the other far-right factions who really, really like Trump).

If Russia stopped backing neo-Nazis, I'd like them a lot more.


So if you want me to like Russia again: please ask them to stop backing neo-Nazis and spreading actual fascism around the world.

I liked them when they weren't doing that. Didn't much like the Stalinism, but the socialism (without the tanks) wasn't bad.

I also don't like the parts of the UK and the USA who are backing actual fascists. Strangely enough, these parts (like the NRA, for instance) tend to be... very closely aligned with Russia. At least since 2014.

@natecull You misunderstood my issues with your framing I see. If I did the same thing as you do, I would have to say that \America' is murdering people in Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya etc, etc.

I am however not framing it that way, but would much rather be more accurate: the american elites, presidential administrations (Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton...) and the Military Industrial Complex are doing that.

Do you see the difference?

@natecull You say you didn't care about Russia at all up intil Snowden. So you see, isn't it sad that Russia remains the only country in the world which could offer him a stable asylum?

Why do you think that is?

Also, why didn't you care when the West neoliberalised and gutted Russia with Boris Yeltsin, a man installed by Bill Clinton, who bombed the Russian parlament with soviet legislators in it.

The Russian spoken prefference (not support) for Trump was because Clinton said she hated them.


<< isn't it sad that Russia remains the only country in the world which could offer him a stable asylum?

Why do you think that is?>>

The simple and obvious answer:

Because Snowden is merely a convenient weapon, to Russia, against America, NATO and the EU.

That's why large nation-states get involved in spycraft - for benefit.

They don't do it on a whim and they don't do it for vague ideological reasons.


<< why didn't you care when the West neoliberalised and gutted Russia with Boris Yeltsin >>

I did care. I cared very much.

I saw by the mid-1990s that the USA winning the Cold War and enforcing Washington Consensus neoliberal capitalism worldwide was become a disaster for Eastern Europe and would become a similar disaster for the world.

But just because the USA's economic policies are disastrous, doesn't mean that Neo-Nazis are better.

@natecull I hope you don't mean to say that what the Saudis are doing is less evil than backing far-right groups...

@halcek I think what the Saudis are doing *is* less evil than backing literal Nazis, yes.

Perhaps I'm biased on this. But we did a whole world war about Nazis and I thought we had settled that they were bad.

So I tend to think that people who are actively bringing that stuff back - knowing what it did last time - are also pretty bad.

But Trump and his Russian friends are also cosying up to the Saudis, so one COULD quite easily say that both far-right groups (the Saudis are far right) are bad.

@natecull It is an insult to insist that Russia is backing Nazis, because it is a historic point of Russian national pride that they founght them (and in Ukraine the Russia-sympathetic factions are also defending themselves against Western-backed fascists there.

That said, I admit that Putin's hopes for better relations after Obama by expressing hope for Trump were naive, and, truth be told, even downright stupid.

Yet I don't think the country of Russia, or the Russians that live there're bad.

@natecull America US (which was always far-right, Democrat, or Republican cozied up to the Saudis, the state of Izrael under far-right goverments, the far-right governent in Venezuela before 1998. There's no real difference in the parties as far as Foreign Policy and Economic Policy goes (which the Russian goverment appears to be learning the hard way, unfortunately.

I was actually hoping you would say Jihadists and neo-nazis are equally bad, but hey, you surprised me again...


I feel like 20th century history kind of fairly definitively established that Nazis are a fair bit worse than jihadis.

I mean if we're just going by the track record.

Which is why I opposed the War on Terror in the 2000s. Seemed like it was going down a very dark path.

Things no doubt got a bit complicated because of wars and such making people do things they wouldn't otherwise contemplate. But the racial stuff... went very badly.


<< It is an insult to insist that Russia is backing Nazis >>

And here we come to the core of our disagreement.

You think Russia is not backing Nazis, and that it's insulting for me to suggest that they are. Because that would be terrible and only a bad country would do it. And you think Russia isn't a bad country, therefore they can't be doing it.

I think that it's been clearly established that Russia IS backing Nazis. And yes, that's bad.

I'm sorry to have to bring you this news.

@halcek So you think that it's MORE insulting for me to tell you that Russia, your happy friend Russia, is doing something pretty bad...

... than for Russia to actually *be* doing that bad thing.

Well, I'm sorry. I disagree.

I think doing a bad thing is more insulting than telling the truth about someone doing that bad thing.

@natecull I don't think Russia (or the US) is a bad country, because that denotes ALL THE PEOPLE LIVING IN IT WHO FOUGHT NAZIS ALSO), but the current right-wing establishment is backing far-right groups in its strategic regions.

I do not agree with that at all, my disagreement with you is mostly semantic: When the elites in the West say ''Russia did this'' they mean ''ALL the Russian people are inherently conditioned to be bad''.

I only beg you to consider your framing a little more carefuly.



The important part of that sentence is the past tense, unfortunately.

The USSR, as a state, did, in the past, fight Nazis. (Bloodily and causing much pain in doing so; also killing more people, in bulk. But it fought them.)

The Russian Federation in 2019, as a regime, is not, currently, fighting Nazis. It's deliberately seeking out and empowering them.

Yes, this is very sad and not On Brand with how Russia sees itself as a culture.

@halcek The even sadder and stranger part is how come ISRAEL is becoming increasingly close to actual Nazis, over the last few decades. To the point of Mossad agents (Black Cube) helping Steve Bannon get Trump elected.

That was not something people were really expecting to happen, in 1947.

I admit I am fudging the lines a little, perhaps, between Nazis, Fascists, and Evola-style Traditionalists.

There *are* some elements in Traditionalist thought to admire. But I don't like their fascism.

@natecull Yes the current Russian establishment is depressingly dissapointingly right-wing. But again, Russia denotes all people living in it, who are also pretty cool. They do not deserve this ''red meance'' rhetoric.

As per the current state establishment it is right-wing, being attacked in right-wing ways internationally. Which, of course, is plenty ironic.

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