22:57 GMT +320 October 2019
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    ‘Putin Using Pizza to Destroy America’: DHS Mocked for Cheesy ‘Russian Meddling’ Analogy

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    Earlier this month, Russia’s ambassador to the US said he expected to see claims about ‘Russian meddling’ in the US electoral process “multiply” ahead of the 2020 race, notwithstanding US investigators’ abject failure to prove any of the claims about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

    The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has issued a bizarre one-page pamphlet warning about Russian intelligence agents’ alleged efforts to “divide Americans” using the example of sharp divisions about pizza topping preferences.

    The agency’s guide uses the argument about whether pineapple belongs on a pizza, warning that hypothetically, Russian spies may create and rename social media bot accounts to “amplify and distort” the “healthy debate” among Americans by “polluting” these debates “with bad information and making our positions more extreme by picking fights, or ‘trolling’ people online.”

    The next step, according to the agency, is for these arguments to hit the mainstream media, and after that, to be taken “into the real world” in the form of protests organised or funded by “Kremlin agents…to further stoke divisions.”

    The DHS’s cheesy analogy did not go over particularly well among social media users, who compared the story to something out of The Onion and accused the agency of wasting taxpayers dollars on trivial nonsense instead of focusing on real problems.

    “What happens when an Agency is simultaneously over-funded and under-staffed in terms of competency,” one user wrote. “2-10 million illegal voters, and DHS is seriously concerned about pineapple pizza affecting our elections. And ABC seriously reports it. Beam me up,” another argued.

    Even those who apparently do believe in a ‘Russian-orchestrated disinformation campaign’ were confused by the pizza pineapple campaign’s message, calling it “flippant,” and even hatching conspiracy theories that perhaps President Trump was “trying to make Russian interference seem not only trivial, but kind of fun” with this kind of drivel.

    A few European users also got in on the act. “The German nation is divided over the question of whether Nutella can be eaten with butter. Now I know: the Russians want to divide our nation because of this question,” one user quipped.

    Others took a more serious tone, with one user accusing the agency of telling Americans not to hold strong opinions or attend demonstrations, “because these might be organised by ‘the Russians’. Clearly intended to make us docile and obedient.” “Russians don’t need to divide Americans when they have organisations like yours to do their work for them,” another complained.

    Related:

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    Moscow Expects 'Russia Meddling’ Hoax to Grow Ahead of 2020 US Election – Russian Envoy to US
    Allegations of Russian Meddling in US Affairs Remains Problem - Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister
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