For a man that has a full-time staff dedicated to fluffing his 41+ pages long Wikipedia biography with useless references to his non-existent combat experience, no one knows much about Ron DeSantis in his pre-congressional days.
Same goes for Casey DeSantis, Ron DeSantis' younger sister, and a shockingly large amount of people in his inner circle, But that's for another post.
In the next few weeks, we’re publishing a series of pieces that will bring forward the parts of the Florida Fuhrer’s life that he tried (and until now, succeeded) to keep hidden.
We start with the key ingredient in making a fascist ruler: control of information.
Because before we even start exposing the lies, our readers should prepare themselves for the onslaught of Twitter hate accounts that will attack them for sharing the truth.
Part I: DeSantis was flopping, so he hired disinformation experts
The newfound and almost clinical control of DeSantis’ public image should be revered by political interests across the spectrum for its vicious and unprecedented scale and impact (at least in modern American politics).
The awkward, often uncomfortable-looking governor, with his high-pitched voice and always-aggressive tone, never mastered the art of public speaking.
Known to be short-tempered, overly emotional and easily baited, DeSantis’ failed attempts to use force to silence his critics ended when the public outrage outweighed the conservative support.
The issue became so severe that handlers insisted DeSantis scale back his press conferences in 2021, as concern about his image and inability to control his temper led people to call him a bully, cold and calculating, a liar and a crook.
But the would-be king of Florida still satisfies his thirst for revenge against all those who bruise him, employing (literal) Russian assets and tactics to wage an all-out war on truth.
And for DeSantis, it’s always personal.
Anyone who crosses DeSantis endures the full wrath of the narcissistic and reactionary governor and his equally-culpable disinformation engine.
And when we say anyone, we mean anyone.
DeSantis isn’t afraid to use shady legal maneuvers or even break the law to punish those who defy him, or those he thinks he can use as a punching bag to score political points with white, Christian nationalists.
Disinformation targeting Disney can be combated by the multi-billion dollar company through positive PR. Elected officials can (and do) sue when DeSantis’ power over-extends its bounds.
But when an individual dares to question the Florida Fuhrer, whether backed by a powerful institution or standing on their own, DeSantis’ deploys another sort of attack post-scientist raid: the online disinformation engine.
DeSantis began using this Russian-style disinformation tactic when he brought on his former press secretary and criminally-charged-cyber-stalker Christina Pushaw, who the DOJ is considering charging with a felony for belatedly registering as a foreign agent while working for the state of Florida (she has since been removed from that position).
Her previous work included running the propaganda network for exiled, imprisoned and stripped-of-his-citizenship former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. There she met Michael Caputo - campaign manager for Russian President Boris Yeltsin, confidante and PR manager to President Vladimir Putin, and Trump ally (naturally).
Think of her as the wrangler for all of the Полезни Дурак being paid or volunteering to help a comrade in need of finding and using single-purpose hate accounts.
Researchers who study hate and disinformation campaigns have long noted the ease with which bad actors can hijack public discourse on social media, snuff out unfavorable stories, and promote or plant conspiracy theories.
Most recently, Twitter became home to targeted smear campaigns promoting false stories about Prince Harry and Megan Markle, as well as Amber Heard (The British tabloid 'The Daily Mail' was involved in both of those manufactured attack campaigns - that will be important later in our series). Here’s how it works:
A swarm of fake, sock and partially-automated accounts descends upon any mention of a DeSantis’ adversary online - in news comments sections, on blogs, in chat groups, on message boards, but mostly on social media - particularly Twitter.
They provide links to manufactured “evidence,” altered documents and images, and planted news stories most often published in far-right online blogs or magazines (think Brietbart, The Daily Caller, National Review).
They start conspiracy theories, feign political alliances to gain trust, use personal attacks, employ racially and sexually-charged language, and mix it all in with public records, “first person accounts” that are rarely authentic and impossible to verify, and recite their own alternate accounts as sources so as to appear legitimate.
By monitoring every single mention of a target online, they delegate the attacks based on a hierarchy and the number and types of responses they receive. The more engagement with a lie, the more the leading players get involved.
Their plan of attack, recently leaked to me in the form of a massive google drive folder where every facet of my life since birth was heavily documented, provided detailed instructions on how to convince people to believe their false and overtly political attacks down to specific templates based on the target account holder’s race, gender and political affiliation.
Most of the memes with false information about me, my whistleblower complaint, and even my personal life and family were created and initially shared by a group of about a dozen people who controlled more than 40 twitter accounts, each retweeting the content from the rest of the group to make it appear as though multiple, independent accounts were coincidentally all coming up with the exact same talking points at the exact same time.
They instructed the single-purpose hate accounts to fake allegiances to the Democratic Party and to progressive politics in order to “disarm” the targets.
They almost always target real people, and rarely engage with alias accounts unless they’re part of their bot network or particularly influential and engagement would thus amplify their reach.
Despite being blocked, at least two of the account holders share or independently have Twitter console access, meaning they can simply unblock anyone who has blocked them, continue to stalk and harass users that have blocked them, and post on the timeline's of blocked accounts.
Console access also means they can read your private messages, access any locational information Twitter collects, and get your personal details (like your driver’s license photo if you uploaded one for verification).
One such account has posted 184,000 times in less than two years, and is the designated attack dog for a handful of DeSantis’ more stubborn and popular dissidents. That account alone averaged 252 tweets a day every single day for nearly two years.
The account, run by a white, Christian nationalist from Kokomo, Indiana who is being investigated by the FBI, earned itself attention by attacking, well… me. According to Twitter firehouse records, 69% of the 184,000 tweets were false or defamatory tweets about me.
But I was hardly the only target.
Others became targets of their “silence all dissent” agenda, too, including Nobel Prize nominated doctors, a Florida lawyer, a journalist, and any individual who poses a threat to the Fuhrer’s supremacy or has even a tertiary connection with me.
Even if the person simply retweets a tweet I’m mentioned in, they’ll get a rapid “You retweeted Rebekah Jones, a [insert defamatory statement]. [link to planted story].” They pay particular attention to media types - reporters, commentators, influencers.
The idea is to hound any mention of me or my case with such vile and vicious lies that no one wants to mention the targets at all, less they, too, start being attacked.
It's been incredibly effective. Or, rather, it was incredibly effective. Especially during the 18-month Twitter ban they orchestrated that kept me from being able to defend myself on the platform or even tweet about events during my campaign for Congress.
That was then, and with my massive platform and online reach restored (Thanks, Elon?), things have changed.
The efficaciousness of their online / stochastic terrorism attacks appear to be waning.
Each of those troll accounts continues to lose followers as their sock accounts are banned and third-party applications enabling them to cyberharass users with ease lose Twitter access.
The inability of the massive disinformation agents to control the narrative comes at a peculiar time when most of Twitter is moving toward hate and conspiracy-driven content, not the other way around.
There's an endless supply of brand-new sock accounts at their disposal, but I've started (and am encouraging others) to throw up red flags (literally) to warn people when they see a three-month old account with 10,000, 20,000 or more tweets about a single topic or in defense of a specific political narrative. That seems to be helping.
And the “program” isn't just about amplifying the hate. It's about creating a false image of widespread support.
In April 2022, DeSantis purchased more than 75,000 new fake followers to promote his campaign, replace the many bot accounts banned during the “Spring Purge” on Twitter, and amplify his account’s reach.
According to Twitter, that's a direct violation of their terms of service and thus his account should be banned, but since when has Twitter ever been fair?
For now, their influence continues to fade, their opaque and far-fetched lies continue to be shot down, and even this “girl with a laptop,” “darling of the fever swamps” continues to outlast the lies despite their sustained and elaborate efforts.
That, for them, is a crisis, and for me, cause for concern that the next measures might be even more extreme.
Because with his image control team rendered ineffective, DeSantis is toast.
Special to Big Mouth Media from Miss Informational Rebekah Jones. Originally published on January 16.