I have a good mix for this kind of thing. A dab of politics and a dab of SEO. Not enough knowledge to be considered "pro" in either area, but enough to add a few things together. For months they've been talking about how Russia "hacked" the election, and at the time it was left undefined (the word "hack") so you could believe that Russia hacked into the voting machines and the computers and jiggered the votes. But then they said that never happened, but still all the Intelligence agencies insist that the Russian's "hacked" the election. My personal experience was that it seemed that Twitter had a lot, and I mean a LOT of accounts that seemed to exist for the singular purpose of promoting one candidate over another. And my friend thinks that the "hacking" that Russia did was to hire operatives to work Twitter in a cooperative manner so that one candidate had a larger presence on Twitter than they would have had otherwise. These twitter accounts would "amplify" this candidate's message. So I've been waiting around for the CIA, or the NSA to make some kind of public announcement that this was what they meant by Russian "hacking", but they haven't done it. Yet. But today on the news I started, you know, sort of "reading between the lines" in the way that the talking heads were phrasing things while dancing around the idea of "hacking", and I got the idea that the "hacking" might have been something else. Some kind of Black Hat "hacking" where (maybe) certain news outlets, pages, stories, etc... got listed higher in Google's Search than they otherwise would have. Maybe the Russians hired Black Hat SEO guys to get certain articles that made one candidate look good, or the other candidate bad. Maybe the reason why CNN and the Jew York Times are butthurt is because someone gamed the Google algorithm such that news outlets like Russia Today or Al Jazeera got their pro-candidate X stories listed higher than CNN's pro-candidate Y stories. So, I'm asking. Has anyone here been hired to promote political news stories? The type of SEO work where the SEO doesn't get paid by the click, or the conversion, but more than likely a flat rate, or whatever. Up to this point, I would have assumed that news stories would not be a monetarily competitive environment so the level of SEO "gaming" would have been ZERO, but if a foreign government was willing to PAY to game the algorithm, maybe for the first time ever, then it might have been WILDLY SUCCESSFUL (since no one else was doing it) and also it might have pissed-off the CIA, NSA, etc... enough that they would all cry and call it "hacking" in order to get the public to hate whoever it was that did it and caused the butthurt (but they are really pissed that someone else did it and not them first). Like, for example, I once saw a website hit #1 in the local search results ONLY because of a single post on a forum, but that post had about 100,000 tweets linking to it. I wonder if the same could be done to a news article. So. Anyone?