Twitter suspends account that helped ignite controversy over viral encounter

Twitter suspended an account on Monday afternoon that helped spread a controversial encounter between a Native American elder and a group of high school students wearing Make America Great Again hats.

The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account soon after CNN Business asked about it.

The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and appeared to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California. “Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020,” its Twitter bio read. Since the beginning of this year, the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers.

Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”

Molly McKew, an information warfare researcher who saw the tweet and shared it herself on Saturday, later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.

Speaking about the nature of fake accounts on social media, McKew told CNN Business, “This is the new landscape: where bad actors monitor us and appropriate content that fits their needs. They know how to get it where they need to go so it amplifies naturally. And at this point, we are all conditioned to react and engage or deny in specific ways. And we all did.”

Basically someone, who probably is not a U.S. citizen, deliberated created a narrative and publicized a fake story to inflame millions of people against each other in this country.

We live in interesting times.

6 thoughts on “Agitators

  1. Years ago, my mother told me to believe nothing of what I heard and half of what I saw. Looks like I need to up the percentage on the “what I saw” component. Seems like it is going to become more and more difficult to separate fact from fiction. I like a lot of the interaction and comments on this site that help me identify specific questions and actions I can take that allow me to accurately identify what attacks personal liberty and what supports it.

  2. The ConservativeTreehouse has an interesting take on it.
    Short version: It was setup, a media hit-job. Several high quality cameras (not just cell phone cameras) to frame the issue, appropriate tearful interview with an apparently sympathetic elderly man that could travel around the world before the facts came out, etc., in order to demonize Catholics. Turns out the old Indian guy approached them, he’s a paid serial left-wing activist, who lies repeately in his interview and reporting of the incident.

    But… Why? Why would they do that?

    Because SCOTUS Justice Ginsburg is getting ready to kick off (now reported to have pneumonia, and the media never report items bad for the left unless they really, REALLY have to), and the leading contender for her spot is a woman who is… a devout Catholic. It’s all about framing the narrative, to disqualify anyone who can move the ball forward for the other (non-authoritarian) team

  3. I stopped watching the nightly propaganda broadcast (aka network “news”) over 20 years ago and began ignoring the local versions (aka “televised social media”) about 8 years after that (exception: When I lived in Florida I would watch one of the local stations’ weather guesser when hurricanes were imminent because his station had the best live radar system).

    Newspapers, for me at least, bit the dust decades earlier after a couple of unpleasant direct experiences with them; see: Crichton’s Gell-Mann Amnesia Theorem for details.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that whomever opined that “local is everything” was – sort of – correct. I’ve come to define “local” as “anything I can see over my front sight.” If it’s much farther out than about a thousand meters it’s usually someone else’s problem (and while modern optics do permit awareness well beyond that range, lacking an on-call mortar platoon to resolve issues >1200 meters I simply re-position that round armrest gizmo to drive around them).

    Will Rogers is credited with “if one doesn’t read the news one is uninformed, if one does read the news one is misinformed” but IIRC Jefferson may have said it first; he probably just repeated it from someone else, too. News has always had some degree of bias in it because humans “report” it and there’s not a single human without bias. But, moderate bias is one thing, especially if one is sufficiently honest to admit to it, and usually not hard to identify and compensate for; the outright fabrication and degree of hatred and viciousness that’s become the media’s default setting, however, portends something considerably more serious and endangering to our Republic.

    As is so often said now, “this will not end well.”

  4. George Soros and his minions fund countless people to engage in such inflammatory acts….and they don’t care where they are….as long as they
    follow the anti American script.

    • Does anyone know for a fact whether the person in South America really exists there, or could this be disinformation, someone behind the scenes telling others, “Let’s you and him fight.”
      Could be Soros, could be Putin, could be KIm Jong Un.

    • I was thinking “follow the money”. Assuming this person? really is from Brazil I can’t think of any reason why they would care about this initially minor incident other than payday. So somebody with an abiding interest in the US paid for this, undoubtedly through a number of cutouts. There are lots of leftist billionaires who have the funds and the motivation to do such. And I agree with Sundance that it was a media setup so there would have had to been prior co-ordination there. And it was not about native rights, it was about Trump. It could have been about Catholics and the court but it would have been hard to program the “black Israelites” to precipitate the incident as they seem to be loose cannons. It could have been anybody that fits the description, though just on style, Soros would have to be a leading suspect. Hopefully, the kids will pursue their lawsuit as discovery will be interesting. They should sue everybody in sight so as to cast a wide net.

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