Skip to main content

French Twitterati furious over ‘Russophiles’ report, launch ‘Russian bots’ flashmob




The French Twittersphere is on fire after a report leaked accounts of those tweeting on the Emmanuel Macron bodyguard scandal. 

Politicians Jean-Luc Melenchon and Marine Le Pen were shocked to find themselves blacklisted.

The now widely-discussed report was released by EU DisinfoLab – a Brussels-based non-governmental organization. 

Its stated mission is to fight “disinformation with innovative methodology.”

The NGO decided to counter this very disinformation over Emmanuel Macron’s very own ‘Watergate’ scandal which involved his protester-beating bodyguard Alexandre Benalla. 

Macron’s ‘Rambo’ case has been blazing in the headlines for nearly a month now. 

New details, the president’s reaction and lengthy op-eds on the consequences of the ‘Bennala affair’ are being released by media on an almost daily basis, along with heated discussions on social platforms.

The EU DisinfoLab report stressed that an “extraordinary” number of Benalla-linked tweets had been published, twice the number of those affiliated with the #JeSuisCharlie trend. 

The group stressed there were so-called ‘Russophiles’ linked to this activity.

It said that it explained in the report what exactly the word ‘Russophile’ means. 

This is someone who shares “publicly and regularly articles from RT and Sputnik, which are state-funded Russian media” and who promotes “the pro-Russian narrative,” according to the NGO.

To make the findings even more transparent, the Brussels-based group leaked the names of the active Twitter accounts. Jean-Luc Melenchon, a 2017 presidential candidate and Emmanuel Macron’s most trenchant critic, found his name on the ‘blacklist.’

“Hey, stupid spook! I'm not a Russian bot. It's just me, Melenchon, who tweets against you! If you need to leave me to remember, it’s that you're even dumber than you look,” the enraged leader of La France Insoumise (FI) political party angrily tweeted.

One more FI politician also found her Twitter account on the list. “Surprised to find myself on this list [which links] me to the supporters of [Vladimir] Putin,” Mathilde Panot tweeted.

Another Macron’s presidential rival, Marine Le Pen from the National Rally (NR) – previously known as the National Front – was also among the 55,000 accounts named. 

“Privacy, censorship, manipulation of the info, Nice New World!” she wrote.

RT’s Charlotte Dubenskij, who has repeatedly covered news events in France, also found herself on the list.A journalist from French newspaper Le Monde Ariane Chemin was also tagged.

After the explosive report EU DisinfoLab released a statement in which it insisted that it neither spoke about “any interference by the Russian state in the creation of the Benalla case, nor about the massive use of ‘Russian bots.’”

Alexandre Alaphilippe, a director at the EU DisinfoLab, told RT that the study never intended to find “Russian meddling” in the Benalla scandal. “We never said this.

The fact that lawmakers or the government spokesperson immediately exploited this for political ends, created a sort of hype that was never the object of our study,” he said.


Sloppy cyrillic, new names & blacklisted numbers

The waves of anger which ‘Russophiles’ unleashed on Twitter are reaching new heights. 

After they found their names on the EU DisinfoLab list, many people chimed in with sarcastic comments under the hashtag #FichagePolitique (political database).

Some even changed the names of their accounts into numbers by which they were listed by the NGO. Thus, a Twitter user @Ros_Jo21 turned into ‘Russian bot n° 21705.’  and someone named Domi Jeannes added that she is “number 6661 on the list.”

Others went even further and renamed their accounts in Russian: “Лемаркич matricule 31884,” "Franck Noir  Чёрный Франк – Opposant N°2045.” To ‘prove’ that they were true ‘Russian bots’ the ‘blacklisted’ users even started writing awkward phrases in Cyrillic.

France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberty confirmed that it received numerous complaints from Internet users who are worried about being listed by the NGO.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Armenian protesters block traffic, railways & airport as protest leader loses PM bid

Anti-government protesters disrupted traffic in Armenia’s capital, blocking railways and roads leading to Yerevan International Airport, after the parliament voted against opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan’s bid for interim PM.
Protesters managed to block streets connecting downtown Yerevan to residential districts, disrupting transportation in Armenia’s capital, footage from the scene shows. 
Yerevan’s metro system has also been paralyzed as demonstrators sit on the tracks, preventing trains from passing.
Meanwhile, protesters disrupted traffic on a road leading to Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport, located just 12km from the center of the city. 
Consequently, some passengers had to go the rest of the way on foot in order to catch their flights, according to Sputnik news agency.
Railway services have also been disrupted all across the country amid the demonstrations, a spokesman for South Caucasus Railways confirmed to Interfax. 
Some other highways, including the one connecting th…

Strange phenomenon under Africa threatens to flip Earth’s magnetic field

Earth’s magnetic field is decaying at such a rapid rate that scientists think the poles may flip. 
New research shows the most significant weakening is happening under Africa, in an area called the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly.’
As well as giving us our north and south poles, the magnetic field blankets the Earth, protecting it from solar winds and cosmic radiation. 
Without it there would likely be no life on our planet today. 
However, the forcefield has weakened significantly in the past 160 years and scientists have suggested that it could be in the process of flipping. 
Effectively this means a switch in magnetic polarity and would see compasses point south instead of north.
Strangely, this has actually happened several times in the history of the planet, occurring roughly every 200,000 to 300,000 years. 
Approximately 40,000 years ago, it attempted to switch before snapping back into place. 
This NASA illustration captures the enormous disruption to the fields during a reversal:




The birthplac…

Professor Stephen Hawking Says Knows What Existed Before The Big Bang

According to the latest comments made by Professor Stephen Hawking, Before the Big Bang, time existed in a bent state that was distorted along another dimension.
The famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has an answer to the enigma of what existed before the Big Bang, the beginning of the Universe, 13,800 million years ago.
In an interview with his colleague Neil deGrasse Tyson in the TV show ‘Star Talk‘ broadcasted on the National Geographic Channel, Hawking explained what existed before the universe.
“The boundary condition of the universe…is that it has no boundary,” Hawking said.
According to this theory, the history of the universe is not a flat line but a four-dimensional, curved object, “just as the surface of the Earth, but with two more dimensions,” Hawking said. 
As explained by Professor Hawking, the Big Bang was practically the formation as we today understand as ‘time,’ since this event, 13,800 million years ago, broke the known laws of physics. 
It also means that anyth…