In the Times today:
“The Russian town of Gelendzhik, on the banks of the Black Sea, has a population of 55,000. According to Twitter, one of its inhabitants is Svetlana Lukyanchenko, a voracious user of the social platform who signed up in May 2016 — less than a month before Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Sveta1972, as she called herself online, did not fit the profile of someone interested in British politics. Yet in the four days before the vote on June 23 she posted or retweeted at least 97 messages mentioning “#Brexit”.
Her messages were mainly pro-Brexit and often repeated conspiracy theories. On June 21 she retweeted a story by the website Zero Hedge that said Britons were “appalled and disgusted” by a Brexit postal ballot “fraud”.
Later that day she tweeted that the EU was an “unelected assembly of corporatist agents” imposing debt and austerity “on all member states”.
After the vote she lost interest, confining her 12,000-plus tweets to subjects such as lighting design websites or free e-books on web traffic. Despite her Russian origins, most of her tweets were in English, Spanish or Italian.
According to researchers at Swansea University, working with the University of California, Berkeley, Sveta1972 was one of thousands of suspect Russian accounts tweeting copiously about Brexit in the run-up to the vote.
Tracking 156,000 accounts in Russia, the research found that their mentions of #Brexit spiked on the day of the vote and the day after, before dropping off almost entirely. The accounts include genuine commentators but many appeared to be either fully automated bots or semi-automated “cyborgs” — bots with some human involvement.
These included Stormbringer15, a virulently pro-Kremlin Twitter power-user with 241,000 posts mainly asserting Russia’s rights over Ukraine. On the day after the referendum he tweeted a fake picture of President Putin giving a medal to Nigel Farage.
Tweets posted by the Russian accounts were often sent at 4am UK time, or 7am in Russia. They were probably seen many millions of times………
Separate research from the Oxford Internet Institute and City University has revealed the scale of bot activity around Brexit. Oxford researchers found that 30 “highly automated” accounts posted 135,597 tweets from June 20-24. These were viewed about 11 billion times. While there is no direct connection between the bots and the Russian state, intelligence officials in Britain and the US are confident that many have been backed by Moscow.”
This is the ‘evidence’ supposedly that the Russians hacked the Brexit vote. It is absolutely risible in my opinion. So, 156,000 Russians suddenly got interested in Brexit around June 23rd and started posting ‘about’ Brexit, then lost interest almost immediately thereafter. Wow, I mean amazing, far out, that never happens on Twitter. Ever. There are bots on Twitter and some may be Russian. That too is a startling revelation. Nobody could have guessed that. Nobody. Most tweets were posted at 4am BST. Yep, that would definitely have swung the result; millions of undecided voters were glued to their computer screens in the wee small hours a week or two prior to Brexit, hoping, praying, for some sign from the Twitterworld how to vote for the best, then up pop the Ruskie bots, obligingly reassuring that all will be well if they cast their vote for Leave.
It’s a slam dunk. The evil Russians made Brexit happen in order to sow discord in the West and screw up the plans of those terribly nice people in Brussels who were relying upon Britain in their quest to advance world peace and Europe-wide cooperative harmony. Article 50 must be reversed pronto and the gullible proles must never be allowed to vote again on an issue of such vital constitutional and economic importance.