Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Some of His Biggest Fans Are Fake (Maybe Russian Bots), And He Likes It (AKA Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (CONt., Part 8))

UPDATE II:  Read also Heavy, Nicole Mincey: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.

It seems it took little time to catfish Trump.

Imagine how gullible he is with Putin.

UPDATE:  "For President Donald Trump, life is a constant positive feedback loop, punctuated by acute instances of narcissistic injury. He famously surrounds himself with yes-men, loyal insiders, confidants, and family members. He bristles at advisers who don’t tell him what he wants to hear, like National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, whom Trump has reportedly considered exiling to Afghanistan. Long after his election victory, he has regaled lawmakers, the C.I.A., journalists, and foreign heads of state about his unlikely electoral upset, and continuously points to the size of his crowds, which he often exaggerates. (A framed, panoramic photo of his inauguration crowd hangs in the press hall of the West Wing.) Nearly every morning, he watches the relentlessly pro-Trump Fox & Friends, retweeting clips and articles from the show and responding to segments with his own commentary online. Twice a day, Vice reports, he receives a folder 'filled with screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews, praise-filled news stories, and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.' White House staff call it 'the Propaganda Document.'

The feedback loop came full circle on Saturday when Trump, ensconced in his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club for a 17-day 'working vacation,' unwittingly amplified some 'fake news' of his own by retweeting and thanking someone who appeared to be a staunch supporter on Twitter. 'Trump working hard for the American people.....thanks,' the tweet from @Protrump45 read. The account appeared to belong to a woman named Nicole, or Nicole Mincey, or BlackGirlPatriot. She claimed to be a 'black pro-Trump conservative' with a Trump merchandise retail empire. Trump acknowledged her tweet by quoting it to his 35 million followers, adding, 'Thank you Nicole!'

By the end of the weekend, however, Nicole’s account had been suspended, indicating, according to Twitter’s terms of service, that it had been deemed 'spammy' or perhaps 'just plain fake.' Twitter users had become suspicious that she was actually a bot and not a real person. Some identified her profile picture as a stock image of a woman from a Web site called Placeit, a stock photo and logo mockup company. . .

Trump is, in many ways, the living embodiment of everything Barack Obama warned against in his farewell address regarding the negative effect of social-media echo chambers. . .

For Trump, confirmation bias isn’t a byproduct, or even a feature, of the media diet he has arranged in the West Wing. It’s a way of life, perfected over a lifetime of masquerading as his own spokesperson and decorating his real-estate properties with fake Time magazines featuring his face on the cover. Retweeting and responding to a fake pro-Trump account on Twitter is just the latest manifestation of a closed feedback loop that Trump, and now a coterie of White House staffers, guard zealously. The user @ProTrump45 is gone, for now, but Trump’s tweet, which contains a blank space where Nicole’s message would be, remains a monument to his monomania."

Read Vanity Fair, Trump Falls for His Own Propaganda Machine.

Read also New York Magazine, Nicole Mincey Wasn’t a Bot, But She Wasn’t Quite Real Either and TalkingPointsMemo, The Mystery Of Nicole Mincey, which includes a discussion of 'sponsored articles')

"Early Saturday morning, President Trump tweeted his gratitude to a social-media super-fan, -Nicole Mincey, magnifying her praise of him to his 35 million followers.

Here’s the problem: There is no evidence the Twitter feed belongs to someone named Nicole Mincey. And the account, according to experts, bears a lot of signs of a Russia-backed disinformation campaign.

On Sunday, Twitter suspended the Mincey account, known as @ProTrump45, after several other users revealed that it was probably a fake, created to amplify pro-Trump content.

The incident highlights Trump’s penchant for off-the-cuff tweeting — and the potential consequences for doing so now that he holds the nation’s highest office. Even as the president has railed against multiple investigations into Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics, he may have become Exhibit A of the foreign government’s influence by elevating a suspected Russia-connected -social-media user — part a sophisticated campaign to exacerbate disputes in U.S. politics and gain the attention of the most powerful tweeter in the world.

'The president doesn’t know whether it’s a Russian bot or not,' said Clint Watt, a former FBI agent and fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, using the term for a fake Twitter account pretending to represent a real person and created to influence public opinion or promote a particular agenda. 'He’s just pushing a narrative, whether it’s true or false. This provides a window not just for Russia but for any adversary to both influence the president or discredit him.'"

Read the Washington Post, The curious case of ‘Nicole Mincey,’ the Trump fan who may actually be a Russian bot.