Elon Musk calls ‘Hamilton 68’ Russian bot scandal ‘biggest journalism scam in a very long time’

Billionaire Elon Musk has weighed in on the emerging Hamilton 68 dashboard scandal, describing it as “the biggest journalism scam in a very long time.”

His response, posted to Twitter early Saturday evening, came roughly 24 hours after journalist Matt Taibbi broke the story on Racket News.

As previously reported via Taibbi, Hamilton 68 “is a computerized ‘dashboard’ designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure ‘Russian disinformation.'”

But instead it was used by the establishment press to push the false narrative that Twitter was teeming with Russian disinformation bots.

“Their secret sauce was a list of 600 accounts they said were linked to Russian influence,” Taibbi explained Friday on Fox News’ “One Nation.”

“The list, let’s just say, is mostly bereft of Russians, but is full of real Americans, and what they basically did is a fraud. They took ordinary conversations of ordinary conservatives mostly, and essentially just called it Russian influence,” he added.

On Sunday, Taibbi confirmed that BizPac Review’s own Twitter account was placed on a list of Russian bots.

BizPac Review editor-in-chief Michele Kirk was stunned.

“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,” she said.

“We have worked incredibly hard over the last 12 years to establish ourselves as a leading conservative voice in the media. 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 added.


Many other innocent parties were also smeared thanks to Hamilton 68.

“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 on Racket News.

He later reiterated this point on Fox News.

“Although conservatives were definitely targeted, and in fact Twitter employees talked about that, how this was a site that would take ordinary conversations between conservatives and accuse them of being Russians … it also affected Democrats like Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders, so this was a site that basically went after people, anybody who was a critic of the Democratic Party, be it on the left or right,” he said.

Critics say it’s therefore no surprise that the establishment press, which has been accused of being nothing more than the praetorian guard of the Democrat Party, was the number one user of the Hamilton 68 dashboard.

Continuing his reporting on Racket News, Taibbi stressed how this smear campaign happened right underneath the victims’ noses.

“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 see something trending that they disliked, and then they’d accuse those responsible for the trend of being Russian bots. As proof, they’d point to the Hamilton 68 dashboard, never mind that it was fraudulent.

“They would say these accounts are now following, let’s just say, the #FireMcMaster, or #ReleaseTheMemo, or #IStandWithLaura or #ParklandShooting, and then you would see a flood of news stories coming out in the next day, maybe in The New York Times, maybe The Washington Post, maybe CNN, maybe MSNBC that would say Russian bots are supporting this hashtag,” Taibbi explained on Fox News.

“In reality, there were no Russians or there were very few Russians, let’s put it that way. Most of these were actual real Americans who were just doing ordinary conversations on Twitter,” he stressed.

Average Americans like 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 wrote for Racket News.

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

Watched and judged. All by an establishment press that has shown over and over and over again that it is beholden to the Democrat Party …

Republished with permission from American Wire News Service


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