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Report: Russia May Have Hired Internet Trolls to Pose as Trump Backers

Image: Report: Russia May Have Hired Internet Trolls to Pose as Trump Backers

Russian President Vladimir Putin (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 04 Aug 2016 10:11 PM

Russia likely hired internet trolls to pose as Trump supporters in an effort to sow discord in the American political process, Business Insider reports.

The website quotes journalist Adrian Chen, who covered the work of Russian trolls for a 2015 New York Times Magazine story.

During a podcast interview in December, Chen told Longform's Max Linsky, "A very interesting thing happened," after he wrote the story.

"I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still," he said. "And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don't know what's going on, but they're all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff."

Chen said he doesn't know who was funding the operation, but added, "I feel like it's some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the US or something. Like false-flag kind of thing."

Chen said that during research for his story he found that the Kremlin pays Russian internet trolls to spread false information across the internet in an effort to deceive the American public as part of what is known as a "dezinformatsiya" effort.

Such campaigns date back to the Cold War and are used to "sow discord among" Russia's allies it perceives to be hostile against it.

Trump came under fire recently when he urged Russia to find and release Democrat Hillary Clinton's missing emails, though Trump insisted he was being sarcastic.

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Russia likely hired internet trolls to pose as Trump supporters in an effort to sow discord in the American political process, Business Insider reports.
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2016-11-04
Thursday, 04 Aug 2016 10:11 PM
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