The billionaire Twitter boss may have been joking when he gushed at a Putin underling’s bizarre predictions of global chaos. Kremlin admirers don’t care. On Monday, former Russian President and current Vladimir Putin stooge Dmitry Medvedev issued a flurry of outlandish predictions on his personal Twitter account. Among them: a Fourth Reich will be created in Europe; there will be a war between France and said Fourth Reich; Poland and Hungary will attack and occupy western regions of Ukraine; civil war will break out in the U.S., which would then split up, with Elon Musk emerging as a president; the E.U. will collapse; the International Monetary Fund would cease to exist; and all stock markets and financial activities will leave Europe and the U.S. and move to Asia. The so-called forecast made waves in the international media, and earned a response from Twitter boss Musk, who called Medvedev’s ramblings “an epic thread.” True to form, Musk later suggested he was trolling. But candid discussions by Russian pundits suggest Medvedev’s posts were merely a crude plot designed to pollute the Western info-space with narratives of the Kremlin’s choosing—in other words, a troll of his own. And while it may have been tongue in cheek, Musk’s initial response prompted Russian talking heads to conclude that this info-mission was successfully accomplished. (…) Medvedev’s forecast of doom and gloom followed in the same footsteps. It wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, merely striving to muddy the waters. Maximizing the exposure was key, which is why Medvedev’s predictions included the improbable suggestion that foreign-born Musk would become the next president over what is left of the “disintegrating” United States. The apparent aim of this claim was to attract Musk’s attention, prompting his social media engagement—and it worked like a charm. His Twitter reply to Medvedev’s harebrained pronouncements amplified their Westward spread. (…) Vorsobin noted that Medvedev’s forecast was almost entirely implausible, rendering it pointless as a conversation-starter. Starikov disagreed: “We’re constantly living according to the agenda dictated by Western politicians, Western media, etc. We are discussing what they said, we’re boiling in somebody else’s juices. I believe that one of Russia’s current goals is to be more present in the Western agenda, so that they will discuss what we said or wrote, what kinds of proposals we have, what we’re predicting…. I believe that this forecast was written to make them discuss it in the West. This goal was achieved. Elon Musk reacted.” Perhaps realizing he might be used by the Kremlin’s propaganda apparatus, Musk added another reply to Medvedev’s Twitter thread, describing his musings as “the most absurd predictions I’ve ever heard.” Nonetheless, the damage of amplifying Russian narratives was already done.

via daily beast: Russia Celebrates Turning Elon Musk Into a Useful Idiot

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