Tags: russian troll factory | us | activists | protest movements | 2016 us election

Russian 'Troll Factory' Paid American Activists, Funded Protests

Image: Russian 'Troll Factory' Paid American Activists, Funded Protests
The Russian troll factory targeted groups working on social issues like Black Lives Matter, starting the group "Blacktivist" on Facebook, posing as an organization for the campaign, and selling merchandise with black activist slogans. (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 October 2017 02:35 PM

A Russian "troll factory" paid U.S. activists and helped fund protest movements in America during the last election, The Guardian reports.

According to an investigation by Russian media outlet RBC, where investigators spoke to current and former employees, the "Internet Research Agency" in St. Petersburg began posing as Americans two years ago. They reached out to around 100 activists in the U.S. over social media to assist in setting up protests and events. Activists were contacted by the Facebook group administrators who hid their location in Russia from the activists, and offered to provide financial support for printing and transportation.

"Our goal wasn’t to turn the Americans toward Russia," a former employee called "Maxim" told Russian TV network Dozhd, according to Meduza. "Our task was to set Americans against their own government: to provoke unrest and discontent, and to lower Obama’s support ratings."

Quartz notes that RBC found the group spent $2.3 million in total on its U.S. operations, with as many as 90 people working on the trolling campaign, $80,000 went directly to support American activists, and $120,000 went towards promoting various social media campaigns.

Entry-level employees at the "Agency" were paid 55,000 rubles per month, roughly $1,000, while those focused on American operations received anywhere from 80,000 to 120,000 rubles.

The troll factory targeted groups working on social issues like Black Lives Matter, starting the group "Blacktivist" on Facebook, posing as an organization for the campaign, and selling merchandise with black activist slogans.

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A Russian "troll factory" paid U.S. activists and helped fund protest movements in America during the last election, The Guardian reports.
russian troll factory, us, activists, protest movements, 2016 us election
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2017-35-17
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 02:35 PM
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