I'm on Snopes today talking about the "DC blackout" trending topic across several social network sites. It seemed to me to be a fairly complex operation spreading disinformation on all sides of the topic, entirely meant to sow discord. I even interviewed some of the people who got swept up in it for my research.
Here is my Twitter thread on the topic, which features a fake AutoZone, fake Planet Fitness, and a fake Wendy's, all seemingly run by the same person or group of people. (Read all the way to the end, I correct some of my assumptions along the way.)
Fun fact I learned today: my mom is actually faster than Google Alerts at letting me know about articles I'm mentioned in
@darius my mom used to say she was my #1 fan hahaha
mums : the original push notification
@darius Jessica just moved to Snopes over from MinnPost, a smaller indie news org in Minnesota, and I'm excited to see the kind of work she's doing over there.
@darius "news reporters who were covering the protests reported interrupted service during the hours in question"
should that be "uninterrupted service"?
@bstacey Yes, Snopes has been notified.
@darius I actually remember setting my VPN to DC and having no trouble
I was more confused and unsure about that than anything else
@MPurpureus Yeah. There is some good debunking of that side of it in the article from NetBlocks, who track internet outages.
@MPurpureus sorry they track *shutdowns* though I imagine every shutdown starts as an outage
@darius thanks for your efforts. Avoiding the spread of malicious divisive disinformation is a big part of why I created this instance, A space where kindness is core to all our interactions.
@dna also I owe you a reply to your DMs! I am just incredibly busy but I promise to get back
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