Twitter Files reveal BizPac Review was one of the conservative sites placed on a list of Russian bots

For years the establishment press published false “Russian disinformation” narratives fed to them by the Alliance for Securing Democracy’s Hamilton 68 dashboard.

According to journalist Matt Taibbi, who has been doing an impressive deep dive into the Twitter Files, Hamilton 68 “is a computerized ‘dashboard’ designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure ‘Russian disinformation.'”

According to Taibbi:

The secret ingredient in Hamilton 68’s analytic method was a list of 644 accounts supposedly linked “to Russian influence activities online.” It was hidden from the public, but Twitter was in a unique position to recreate Hamilton’s sample by analyzing its Application Program Interface (API) requests, which is how they first “reverse-engineered” Hamilton’s list in late 2017.


What’s problematic about it is that it was used to create a list of Twitter users that were allegedly Russian stooges/bots.

On Sunday, it was revealed to BizPac Review, a 12-year-old bedrock trusted conservative publication, (and AWN’s sister site), that its account had been falsely ‘placed on a list of Russian bots.’

BizPac Review Editor-in-Chief Michele Kirk responded to the shocking news, saying: “To be baselessly labeled ‘Russian bots’ without ever being contacted, questioned, or given the opportunity to defend ourselves is frankly un-American, and it’s a heart-stopping glimpse into the future of this country if these kinds of people are not held accountable.”

“We have worked incredibly hard over the last 12 years to establish ourselves as a leading conservative voice in the media,” she continued. “If we were toeing the line, no one would ever bother with us. Having a voice for and by the people makes us an instant target – but we will carry on and wear that proudly.”

Kirk expressed her anger and profound disappointment as well.

“I’m unfathomably angry but more importantly, I’m disappointed,” she said. “Disappointed that Americans can turn on their fellow countrymen so callously, and disappointed that nobody at Twitter thought to alert anyone until this point.”

To Twitter’s great credit, the social media outlet itself didn’t fall for it, as explained in the latest Twitter Files exposé by Taibbi.

Instead, Twitter decided to reverse-engineer Hamilton 68. In doing so, it discovered that many of the supposed Russian bots on the list were anything but.

“The accounts Hamilton 68 claimed were linked to ‘Russian influence activities online’ were not only overwhelmingly English-language (86%), but mostly ‘legitimate people,’ largely in the U.S., Canada, and Britain,” Taibbi reported Friday for Racket News.

“Grasping right away that Twitter might be implicated in a moral outrage, they wrote that these account-holders ‘need to know they’ve been unilaterally labeled Russian stooges without evidence or recourse,'” he added.

Even disgraced former Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth saw the writing on the wall.

“I think we need to just call this out on the bullshit it is. … Virtually any conclusion drawn from [the dashboard] will take conversations in conservative circles on Twitter and accuse them of being Russian,” he reportedly declared.


“This was not faulty science. It was a scam. Instead of tracking how ‘Russia’ influenced American attitudes, Hamilton 68 simply collected a handful of mostly real, mostly American accounts, and described their organic conversations as Russian scheming,” Taibbi noted for Racket News.

What remains unclear — though Taibbi is working to resolve this — is how many fraudulent news stories based on Hamilton 68 alone were published.

What’s known is that Hamilton 68 implicated many, many, many innocent people.

“The names ranged from well-known media figures like David Horowitz to conservatives like Dennis Michael Lynch and progressives like Consortium editor Joe Lauria. It’s crucial to understand that the list [of alleged bot accounts] captured not just Trump supporters but a range of political dissidents, including leftists, anarchists and humorists,” Taibbi explained.

“These people never knew they were used for years to drive hundreds if not thousands of media headlines about supposed Russian bot infiltration of online discussions: about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign, the #ReleaseTheMemo affair, the Parkland shooting, Donald Trump’s election, the #WalkAway and #IStandWithLaura hashtags, U.S. missile strikes in Syria, the Bernie Sanders campaign, the ‘Blexit’ movement to peel black voters away from Democrats, calls to fire National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, ‘attacks’ on the Mueller investigation, and countless other issues,” he added.

The media would just point to the list as proof, never mind that the list itself was completely fraudulent.

The tweet above references “former FBI agent (and current MSNBC ‘disinformation expert’) Clint Watts.”

Hamilton 68 was reportedly his brainchild.

Taibbi continued his piece by describing how he’s been contacting the people/organizations who were on the list to get their response.

One of the people on the list was Sonia Monsour.

“As a child, Sonia Monsour lived through civil war in Lebanon, in a town that was taken over by a Christian militia. Her father counseled her then to dispose of some leftist books that they kept at home, so that her political beliefs would not be held against her. Upon being told she was on the Hamilton 68 list, she recalled that childhood story. She moved to the West to get away from such problems,” Taibbi noted.

“Supposedly in a free world, we are being watched at many levels, by what we say online,” Monsour said to him.

Oregon native Jacob Levich, who too was on the list, was equally flummoxed.

“When I was growing up, my father told me about the McCarthyite blacklist. As a child it would never have occurred to me that this would come back, in force and broadly, and in a way designed to undermine rights we hold dear,” he told Taibbi.

The last thing to know is that it wasn’t just the media who promoted Hamilton 68 as a legitimate source. So did top universities. And so did elected officials like notorious Russian collusion delusion hoaxer Adam Schiff, of course …


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Vivek Saxena


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