AppSame: Fakery.

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters.

Something else I had never heard of at all, and I don’t spend much time on Twitter, certainly not enough to be aware of AppSame, which has an influential twitter account (1.1 million followers). Of course, this leads to the same old question: why is Twitter ignoring this? They certainly have a way of turning their heads to obviously fake bullshit and abuse when it’s convenient for them.

Despite what its wildly misleading name might suggest, AppSame is not an application. Based on the biographical details its social media accounts provide, AppSame is “a conservative political marketing firm helping America back to its greatness.” While publicly available information does not clarify what exactly, if anything, this firm does to help MAGA, its impressive Twitter presence (1.1 million followers as of this writing) invites some questions — about its tactics, its actual impact, its role in the spread of fake news purveyor-generated misinformation into influential right-wing Twitter networks, and whether its influence could become a case study in the way Twitter enables unknown entities to have a disproportionate impact in politics.

Both its massive following and its clout among right-wing Twitter hubs like #TCOT (an acronym that stands for “top conservatives on Twitter”) earned AppSame the top spot in Brandwatch’s 10 most influential Republicans on Twitter rankings in 2016. AppSame’s Twitter behavior is practically indistinguishable from that of hard-core supporters of President Donald Trump: The account frequently retweets the president and his family (once earning a magnanimous mention from Trump) as well as memes featuring right-wing narratives, churning out more than a hundred tweets or retweets per day. But despite its impressive following, AppSame’s original tweets barely register any viral attention, which might be evidence of a heavy fake account presence among its followers. A Twitter audit report confirmed as much in 2015, finding that 45 percent of @AppSame’s followers are suspected fake accounts.

@AppSame’s social media habits also include disseminating fake news and conspiracy theories into right-wing Twitter networks. On Twitter, @AppSame has shared links to fake news purveyors like TruthFeed and True Pundit, and its tweets have on occasion been featured in items written by fake news purveyors. Inmultipletweets, AppSame either suggested or explicitly claimed that Hillary Clinton was responsible for the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

Cristina López & Natalie Martinez at Media Matters have the full investigative story.

SpooOOooky Art.

Illustration from Spectropia, or, surprising spectral illusions showing ghosts everywhere and of any colour by J. H. Brown (1864) (via Wikimedia).

The 1864 Spectropia used optical illusions to manifest ghosts in Victorian homes, and was designed to attack the quackery of Spiritualism. You can read and see more here.

“Hallowe’en morning” (John O. Winsch, 1914) (via Special Collections Department, Postcard Collection, Enoch Pratt Free Library).

Look, witches were into biofuel! :D Hyperallergic has a host of entertaining vintage Halloween Cards.

On the more serious side, today marks the opening of a new exhibition of Cornell University’s Witchcraft Collection:

Image from the Cornell University Witchcraft Collection (courtesy Cornell University Library).

You can read and see much more at Hyperallergic. It’s the largest witchcraft collection in North America, and will run through August of 2018.

Trick or Tweet!

© C. Ford.

Oh, the right wing. So very gullible. You can make up anything, and they will swallow it whole so quickly, you wouldn’t have time to blink. There is such a twitchy desperation to believe anything negative about their self-defined enemies, they lie in wait, ready to pounce, on anything.

An anonymous but popular comedian on Twitter who tweets under the username “Krang T Nelson”—an homage to a cartoon character in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”—was suspended from Twitter after posting a satirical status mocking conservative fearmongering around a series of demonstrations organized by Refuse Fascism, a group separate from Antifa, scheduled for November 4. The user tweeted:


Twitter suspended the Krang T Nelson account after the post was reported by conservatives who believed the tweet was serious. Fellow Twitter comedian Tom Bloke then copied and pasted the since-removed tweet to his own profile to show solidarity. It didn’t take long for the worst right-wing pundits to seize the opportunity to embarrass themselves.

The Gateway Pundit’s White House reporter Lucian Wintrich reported on the satirical tweet reposted by Bloke as if it was a serious threat of “anti-white racism” against “white parents” and “small business owners.”  Wintrich also identified Bloke as “one of the leaders of the domestic terrorist group ANTIFA,” which is a lie.

The Gateway Pundit went on and on about Antifa, not caring one whit that they were taken in. They have a graphic comparing Nazis to Antifa, and note:

Primarily comprised of white, pale-skinned, stick-thin men, and obese pimple-ridden women, Antifa hide behind masks to both disguise their grotesque appearances and to feel “united” with the others in their group.

Not only gullible, ignorant, and mis-informed, but so very juvenile, too.

Pro-Trump sycophant radio host Bill Mitchell shared the Gateway Pundit article with his followers:


Ian Miles Cheong got in on the re-tweet panic, too, and defended his panic when he was informed he was panicking over nothing at all. You can read about the whole mess at RWW, and they also provide a link to the new account of Krang.

Doesn’t That Look…Dull.

Christians in the UK are having ‘light parties’ to fight back against that oh so devilish Halloween business, but they don’t want the sproggen to miss out, so:

Damian Stayne started Night of Light around 15 years ago.

He told Premier 31st October should really be about the eve All Saints’ Day.

He said: “All Saints Feast is the celebration of the success of the work of the cross.

“The devil seems to have hidden that message by disguising Halloween into something about darkness and death and witches.


Stayne said: “The kids who come to our Night of Light parties have got to have a better time than all their friends who are doing trick or treating.

“We invite them to come and dress up as Saints their heroes of faith, and we do some kind of teaching, a little tiny short thing, that gives them an aspiration for living in God.”

To set itself apart from traditional Halloween celebrations, the event is decorated with pumpkins that have happy faces carved into them.

Night of Light also encourages people to place a light in their window along with a picture of Jesus as a sign to passers-by that it’s a Christian household and Christ is “their light”.

Dressing up as saints and martyrs, oooh fun. Well, I guess one could get creative with the martyrs, but the adults probably wouldn’t approve. That ^ photo. Oh, it’s awful, and I’m itching to at least adjust the levels in pshop, but I’ll resist the temptation. It’s interesting to me that they complain about Halloween, but adopt most of the customs, and are celebrating with a depiction of an execution, because hey, that gore is good, and no doubt stress all the grisly deaths of various martyrs. I feel so sorry for those sprogs. I guess it’s a good thing they specify placing a picture of Jesus by the candle, because candles are a rather big feature of Samhain/Halloween.

If I start seeing pumpkins carved with happy/smiley faces, I’m going to become a pumpkin smasher, with extreme prejudice.

Via Premier and The Guardian has this one, too.

The Microbe World Is Coming! It Will Rot Your Genitals Off!

Herpes, Chlamydia, HPV, Pox, and Penicillin. Giant Microbes.

Phil Duck Dude Robertson has some dire news: the microbe world is coming, and it’s gonna getcha! How? Oh, Beyoncé, of course.

In a social media video for Independent Journal Review shared on Robertson’s Facebook page on Friday, Robertson listened to clips of various pop songs and predictably expressed his disapproval. Things started to go off the rails, however, when Robertson listened to Beyoncé’s song “Blow.”

Robertson motioned for the song to be cut off.

“And you wonder why 110 million of us have a sexually transmitted disease at any given time?” Robertson asked.

Robertson warned, “So according to God, the Center for Disease Control and me, don’t listen to that chick. She will lead you down a path into the microbe world. She’ll take you down a path you don’t want to go down.”

“Boys, look out, the microbes are coming. They will rot your genitals off,” Robertson said.

My oh my. I don’t wonder why so many people have an STD at any given time, the reasons are pretty much the same as always: ignorance. Consider what decades of puritanical hysteria over comprehensive sex education has wrought. Remember Bush the younger and his abstinence only programs? Oh, the christians were so excited and happy about that one! Might be somewhat impressive if you all took responsibility for that mess, rather than blame one particular artist. And why Beyoncé? I could make a guess, and it wouldn’t paint duck dude in a very good light, not that there’s much good light to begin with at all. Also, it’s not just ‘boys’ who have sex, Phil. Looks like you need remedial sex ed.

Now, I haven’t gone looking, but I’m pretty sure the CDC has never issued a Beyoncé warning.

The microbes, they have always been with us, and they aren’t going anywhere. As usual, education would be the key, and you can listen to any music you like. Just remember to get that protection on!

Via RWW.

Consider Soul Cakes, Turnips, & The Plague.

If you want to do something a bit different, consider Soul Cakes. There’s a good recipe here. Rather than go with carving pumpkins, why not give the traditional turnip a go?

A traditional Irish Jack-o’-Lantern in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland.

And the latest issue of Medievalist has a costume idea:

A Plague Victim.

It’s easy costume to prepare: – use beet juice rubbed on your face to create a flushed look.  Buboes can easily be made from bread dough – use honey to attach to your underarms. Wear an old dress or other clothing you don’t mind getting dirty – this way you can fall to the floor groaning dramatically. You can take advantage of the conflicting theories about the black death and, when caught eating, claim an enormous appetite is a common symptom.  You can throw your ‘buboes ’ at people, both delighting them at your humour and disgusting them at the same time!

Edited to add: I’d have a blast with  that – I’d probably go with ready to bake biscuit dough, paint the outside with food colouring, then make a hole to pour in slightly whipped cream, tinted green and yellow with food colouring, then pinched mostly closed. If you threw one of those at someone, you could properly make them scream! :D