Tags: Russia | russian trolls | house of cards | create | divisive | messages | report

Report: Russian Trolls Watched 'House of Cards' to Create Divisive Messages

Image: Report: Russian Trolls Watched 'House of Cards' to Create Divisive Messages
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By    |   Monday, 16 October 2017 02:01 PM

Russians who worked in a "troll factory" as part of President Vladimir Putin's plan to influence the 2016 presidential election were required to watch "House of Cards," a Netflix TV series starring Kevin Spacey.

They watched the political drama to learn about ways to "set up the Americans against their own government," according to a Yahoo report from a Russian TV interview.

The independent Russian TV station Rain interviewed a former member of the troll factory's English-language department, Yahoo reported.

The trolls posted provocative comments from accounts that purported to be Americans on articles by The New York Times and The Washington Post.

The former troll factory member was called "Maksim," and was interviewed on the Russian TV channel with his face covered. He said the factory workers were instructed to target Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic presidential candidate.

"The message is, 'Are you not, my American brothers, tired of the Clintons?'" Maksim said.

"We had a goal to set up the Americans against their own government… to cause unrest, to cause discontent, (and) lower (President) Obama's rating," Maksim said, according to Yahoo.

The trolls were ordered to look through thousands of articles on the Times and the Post. The trolls were measured by how many "likes" their comments received, Maksim said.

The show "House of Cards" depicts a politician, played by Spacey, who rises to the presidency through corruption and murder. "At first we were forced to watch 'House of Cards' in English … It was necessary to know all the main problems of the United States of America. Tax problems, the problem of gays, sexual minorities, weapons," Maksim said, according to Yahoo.

"When it was gays, we almost always had to bring out the religious themes … you had to write that sodomy is a sin. That could always get you a couple of dozen likes."

The Russians were ordered not to mention Russia or Putin, Maksim said. "They do not talk about it. The Americans,in fact, do not care about Russia or Putin."

On Friday, the social media platform Twitter handed over the Twitter user names of 201 accounts linked to Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential elections.

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Russians who worked in a "troll factory" as part of President Vladimir Putin's plan to influence the 2016 presidential election were required to watch "House of Cards," a Netflix TV series starring Kevin Spacey.
russian trolls, house of cards, create, divisive, messages, report
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2017-01-16
Monday, 16 October 2017 02:01 PM
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