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The Irony of "Russian Hacking"

Updated on March 22, 2018
nadia asencio profile image

Author of "Politiquette." BA in International Relations and Economics from Florida International University.

The Irony of "Russian Hacking"

After reading and listening to tons of coverage on the “Russian hacking” of the American presidential election, I still don’t understand what the big deal is. What am I missing here?

Self-proclaimed “cyberspace analyst” Laura Galante gave a passionate TED Talk on the topic in an attempt to clarify the threat, but instead, simply reiterated the playbook that the American government has used to replace or emplace foreign leaders for decades. The most striking feature of her speech was the fact that the irony was completely lost on her.

What did Russia do that corporations don’t do 24/7? What did Russia do that the U.S. and scores of other industrialized nations don’t do and haven’t done since recorded history? The only difference is the medium employed; the means are new, not the behavior.

Every contributor to media is pushing its own agenda; we take this for granted as “common sense.” In reference to elections, I’m confused as to why opinions and propaganda posted on social media by foreign entities is any different than opinions and propaganda posted on social media by domestic entities.

It seems to me that during an election, every commercial, every ad, every interaction, and interview, whether written or spoken, is attempting to “manipulate” an election by influencing voters; in an ever-interconnected world, any individual or group affected by the results of an election will, of course, want to weigh in.

Global platforms such as Facebook and Twitter give voice to any and every user, regardless of nationality. There is no guideline prohibiting users from weighing in on foreign matters, and I’m not sure how such a guideline would be enforced, nor if it would serve a useful purpose if we take the possible ramifications into account.

Restricting speech is risky; where would it end? Maybe I’m missing the point; if so, please illuminate me. My two cents.

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    • tsadjatko profile image

      23 months ago from now on

      Excellent common sense commentary on this topic! Really, the country would be a much better place if the media hired people who exercise your discernment rather than the left's agenda. See that is why this seems so baffling to you. Journalism is dead in America and what we have as media today are merely agencies of propaganda, extensions of the liberal Democrat party that portray all and any news as a construct to support their agenda which in this case is solely to take down Trump with lies like Hiliary's dossier on Trump and Russian collusion. Plain and simple, your intuitions are right on, this "hacking" is nothing new, practiced by everyone and will never be stopped.

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