LinkedIn (LNKD) and Other Social Media Platforms Have Become Havens For Propaganda
One night late in March, a British military veteran by the name of Alan Malcher, descended upon a local working-class bar in north London. After taking a seat and ordering his usual pint of beer, a stranger pulled up a seat next to him and began a conversation. After ordering a drink, the stranger soon brought up the Russian President, Vladimir Putin with many positive remarks about the Moscow-backed separatist civil war in the Ukraine.
Malcher stated that “He was going on about Putin being a strong leader, somebody to admire.” With the strangers accent being a recognizable slavic one, Malcher began to feel somewhat unsettled. Malcher had recently become apart of a Washington D.C. think tank which was involved with fighting Russia’s quiet infiltration of American soil media. With the strange man now casually hinting at Malcher’s army past, Malcher began to question his motives. Malcher stated that “There’s no way he could have known that except via LinkedIn.” For those who don’t know, LinkedIn is a social media website for professionals to network online. Malcher decided that the Kremlin had sent this ‘stranger’ to essentially say that he was being watched, and they know everything about him.
Many experts have been stating that Russia’s use of underground “propaganda factories” have been an attempt to destroy democracy, flooding Twitter and Facebook with millions off computer-generate bots with fake names. The battle on LinkedIn has simply gone unnoticed, until now. A news company found that Moscow forces continuously put pressure on the social media website to evict a number of individuals from the website many of those individuals having had long careers in military affairs. These efforts have attempted to remove credentials from U.S. military official or other intelligence agencies and destroy their professional reputations. If Malcher is correct in his suspicions, the campaign by the Kremlin to combat their adversaries using online social media tactics, have now officially been taken to the streets.