Russian propaganda on Facebook

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At 10 am this morning, my friend Alicia sent me the following note on Facebook Messenger:

Italy did autopsies. Coronavirus is a Bacteria not a virus that is amplified by G5. We have been lied too! Causes blood clots, so you can’t breathe.


Below it she posted a robot-voiced video that some bot had sent to her via FB:



It is identified as video-1594228449.mp4  424 x 240 

sent from @italiarevelacurardelcovid19. 

The robot voice said, “All the pandemic is because they want to vaccinate and chip to assassinate the masses…  to control the masses and reduce the World Population.  GOD SAVE US.

For the last sentence, the robot read, “God save U. S.”

Another of the messages was “Share that the world knows that we have been deceived and murdered by our elderly people.

And “Italy defeats the so-called Covid-19, which is nothing other than ‘Disseminated intravascular coagulation.’   …Please subscribe and share to your friends.”  

Clearly I was reading an automated translation (poorly done) of a mishmash of lies with a little truth mixed in.  Exactly the kind of disinformation that Russia sends out with the main purpose of weakening the governments of Western democracies.

My first reaction was, “How can we combat this misinformation?”  


But the next day Alicia  sent me a very different message:

One day one of us will not be here, & then it will be too late to say “I LOVE YOU”, so I Love You ❤ …forward to everyone you Love. If you get back more than 5, you are a Lovable person. SEND THE LOVE ❤

I sent back this reply to both the “I love you” message and the “Covid is a bacteria” message:

“Gracias, Alicia.  Yo te amo tambien.  But the message you sent yesterday is spam, written by Russians probably, and read aloud by a robot.  It’s lies.  Anyone can look in a microscope and see if Covid is a bacterium or a virus.  Ask Susana’s husband [a doctor] and don’t send messages like this.”

A few hours later I learned that her mother was in the hospital with Covid-19 and intubated.  I regretted having sent that kind of harsh reply.

It was a time for comfort, not combat.



The next day when I checked her sister Rosy’s Facebook page,  mostly filled with inspirational messages, I also saw two posts about the virus, each one several weeks old.

This post says:

The Coronavirus has reminded us that:

1)  God is sovereign.

2)  Humans are fragile.

3)  All are equal.

4)  Prayer is indispensable.

5)  The Bible gives us promises.

6)  Gathering together is a privilege.

7)  The family is a treasure.

“The world trembles with a virus, as it will be
when God unleashes his wrath
for so much disobedience of man.”

Beautiful!

The next message is ominous,
a reminder that for millennia, 
a plague or an earthquake or flood
has often been interpreted as 
God’s punishment for human disobedience. 

Still today, that message is being sent out. 

Note:

When I told a neighbor that a friend of mine had died from the Corona virus, his reply was, “Oh, so it’s real!”

He’s a reluctant Trump supporter and investment manager.

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