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“Hacker X”—the American who built a pro-Trump fake news empire—unmasks himself

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
8,254
3,750
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fascination read tho a bit long

edit:
just wish he had come out and actually named the media outlet in stead of calling it 'koala'.
I have a lot things I want to say but don't want to at the moment.

What I will say is that all of you PLEASE vet your sources of information and insure that what you feed you brain comes from professional, established sources and always apply high standards to any provided sources and citations. To also keep in mind that while a lot of content has some sort of bias or marketing crap slipped in, that you practice removing any emotional content or appeals bullshit when parsing a story.

That and youtube and video sites are now the top mindfuckerupper platforms.

The basic approach involved the creation of a massive syndication network of hundreds of specialty "news" websites, where articles from the main Koala website could be linked to or syndicated. But these additional websites were engineered so that they looked independent of each other. They were "a web ring where the websites didn't look like they had any real associations with each other from a technical standpoint and couldn't be traced," said Willis.
Citations that did exist were often placed in a misleading manner, misconstruing the linked stories or pointing to existing stories in the Koala webring, making it hard for readers to fact-check the material. The "search bar" on these news sites even took users to a search engine created by Koala; it showed stories from "independent media," i.e., sites from the webring.
"I surprised them by holding up a large poster board with what became the schedule and deep explanations from a psychological standpoint on what articles to put at what times," he said. "Early morning was positive articles—people will interact with positive things when they first wake up, they had the big story of the day at 11 am already, which they previously noticed was the most powerful slot of the day, afternoon prior to 2 pm was articles to really push hard, late night (11 pm to the early morning) was fringe content."
 
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dawp

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
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I have a lot things I want to say but don't want to at the moment.

What I will say is that all of you PLEASE vet your sources of information and insure that what you feed you brain comes from professional, established sources and always apply high standards to any provided sources and citations. To also keep in mind that while a lot of content has some sort of bias or marketing crap slipped in, that you practice removing any emotional content or appeals bullshit when parsing a story.

That and youtube and video sites are now the top mindfuckerupper platforms.
that is the problem, cons are more likely to believe what the read on the net than libs are, it feeds the their preconceived notions, if the left responded more like the right to fake news and made them more money then they would have went that way.

Sources also told Ars that Koala Media owners realized the massive potential for financial gain in pushing out the pro-Trump and anti-Clinton rhetoric after analyzing Trump's voter base and their emotional reactions to the fake news articles all adding to traffic. Had Clinton's voter base earned them more money, the pro-Clinton narrative might have been their focus, claim the sources.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,671
10,034
136
The story feels like a movie I watched recently. Even if the story is fake there is good info on how this information spreads.

Sadly the people who need to read this are exactly the type of people who won't read this.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2015
9,242
5,352
146
Said it before and I'll say it again. It should be illegal to exploit human nature for any reason whatsoever. (Yes, that includes advertisement.)
 

SmCaudata

Senior member
Oct 8, 2006
780
1,010
136
The guy is angry at democrats for ruining his state? He wants to be "fiscally conservative" now above all else. How noble of someone who benefited from free federal money for college.

Dude fits the mold of the "no thanks, I got mine crowd." At least he admitted he didn't really care about people.
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
23,240
5,783
136
The end gives me chills:
Prior to approaching me, Willis had disclosed his history with fake news farms to his family, hoping to undo the brainwashing done by these websites. Unfortunately, it was too late. To this day, Willis' father does not believe the hacker's story, Willis said, adding, "He has been too manipulated."
I imagine that’s a big part of why he chose to come forward. It was all just a numbers game until his family got brainwashed.

That said, it also confirms just how fucked we are as a society. If his dad can’t even believe his son when he says “everything you read is bullshit—I built the fake news empire so I know”…well how can these people ever wake up?? We have the makings of our very own Taliban/ISIS right here in America.

Edit: One more observation—Rob says he was always anti-establishment and that’s why he hated Hillary Clinton and believed in stopping her…but I wonder if he’s ever privately acknowledged that part of the reason why he hates Hillary so much could be his own manipulation by anti-Hillary media?
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
12,387
3,753
136
Hitting that "emotion button" sure is a whole lot more effective than pressing that "facts matter" button when it comes to applying psychological warfare on the populace. Lazy minds are just so easily manipulated when fear and hate are used to kick in the survival instinct within them. All that needs to be invoked then is just who/what that threat to their survival is snf there you have the essence of what the Repubs have conditioned their people with.

Trump came along and hyper-hyped that contrived fear and hate scenario into an virtual existential threat against his lazy-minded victims and conveniently pointed his chubby at the Dems as being the threat they'd have to defeat. For a guy like Trump who had to rely on his ability to fake and lie his way through life it was truly a match made in hell.
 

Lost_in_the_HTTP

Diamond Member
Nov 17, 2019
3,863
2,179
96
Edit: One more observation—Rob says he was always anti-establishment and that’s why he hated Hillary Clinton and believed in stopping her…but I wonder if he’s ever privately acknowledged that part of the reason why he hates Hillary so much could be his own manipulation by anti-Hillary media?
I absolutely despise all three of the C's, but it has nothing to do with the media. It has to do with the fact that they are wholly evil to the core.
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
23,240
5,783
136
I absolutely despise all three of the C's, but it has nothing to do with the media. It has to do with the fact that they are wholly evil to the core.
Smug and entitled? Yep. Used their office for personal gain? Most likely. Self dealing? Absolutely. Explain to me why the Clintons are more evil than any other politician…and what did Chelsea ever do to you?
 
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woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
14,296
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Smug and entitled? Yep. Used their office for personal gain? Most likely. Self dealing? Absolutely. Explain to me why the Clintons are more evil than any other politician…and what did Chelsea ever do to you?
I'll cut this one short for you. This is the guy who actually believes the "Clinton Body Count" conspiracy theory.
 

System48s

Junior Member
Oct 14, 2021
2
1
36
For anyone that was interested, we figured out the company he was working for.


Going just on the contents of the article and looking for a "well known" site the peddled health info non-sense including "lemons cure cancer", you may land on NaturalNews as a potential.

Searching further you may find they were also blocked by Facebook in 2019 and then again in 2020.

You'll also find this report which among other things notes a peak of domain registrations occuring in 2015 which aligns with the dates in the article for when Robert started.

A reverse image search of the lobby picture using TinEye leads to this porperty, 1812 Centre Creek Drive, Austin, TX 78754.

Further searching on the property address leads to this site listing Austin area commerical real estate news. You'll find space was leased at the address by "Quantum Fulfillment and Support", this company is tied to NaturalNews.

If you do exact keyword searches on Google for "NatualNews" and "Robert Willis". You'll hit someones resume and find a Robert Willis in their work history. This person appears to be the Mexican Assistant that Robert refers to in his own blog post.

In the work history you'll see that they worked for a Robert Willis at NaturalNews and then a Robert Willis at ThreatCare but the e-mail addresses are different. It's known that the Robert Willis of the article did work for ThreatCare in the past.

Search using the e-mail address of the Robert Willis with NaturalNews and you'll find another persons resume. At the bottom with the e-mail address there's a short recommendation written by Robert and a picture. This happens to be the same picture used in the article of Robert at a conference giving a speech.

You'll also find in that e-mail address search a repository of info from BuzzFeed documenting domain registrations. In there you'll see that e-mail address was used to register bloodyrubbish.com.
 
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Nov 29, 2006
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For anyone that was interested, we figured out the company he was working for.


Going just on the contents of the article and looking for a "well known" site the peddled health info non-sense including "lemons cure cancer", you may land on NaturalNews as a potential.

Searching further you may find they were also blocked by Facebook in 2019 and then again in 2020.

You'll also find this report which among other things notes a peak of domain registrations occuring in 2015 which aligns with the dates in the article for when Robert started.

A reverse image search of the lobby picture using TinEye leads to this porperty, 1812 Centre Creek Drive, Austin, TX 78754.

Further searching on the property address leads to this site listing Austin area commerical real estate news. You'll find space was leased at the address by "Quantum Fulfillment and Support", this company is tied to NaturalNews.

If you do exact keyword searches on Google for "NatualNews" and "Robert Willis". You'll hit someones resume and find a Robert Willis in their work history. This person appears to be the Mexican Assistant that Robert refers to in his own blog post.

In the work history you'll see that they worked for a Robert Willis at NaturalNews and then a Robert Willis at ThreatCare but the e-mail addresses are different. It's known that the Robert Willis of the article did work for ThreatCare in the past.

Search using the e-mail address of the Robert Willis with NaturalNews and you'll find another persons resume. At the bottom with the e-mail address there's a short recommendation written by Robert and a picture. This happens to be the same picture used in the article of Robert at a conference giving a speech.

You'll also find in that e-mail address search a repository of info from BuzzFeed documenting domain registrations. In there you'll see that e-mail address was used to register bloodyrubbish.com.
Odd 1st post
 
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System48s

Junior Member
Oct 14, 2021
2
1
36
Odd 1st post
I don't normally come to these forums, not sure what happened to my old account, but after spending a few hours today tracking down everything I wanted to be sure this was posted everywhere this article was being talked about.

Should add for clarity, I've been in the comments section of the ArsTechnica article most of the day sorting through it.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,671
10,034
136
I don't normally come to these forums, not sure what happened to my old account, but after spending a few hours today tracking down everything I wanted to be sure this was posted everywhere this article was being talked about.
Why?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY