Millions of white Americans realize the Russian Trolls are on their side. They hated Hillary, and are happy Russians help put their White Messiah in the White House. I told you so! I warned you. My daughter called me mad. Marilyn made a personalized facebook ghetto to keep me isolated and away from her facebook. She did not have a clue how to manipulate the internet. I told her about the battles I was having.
In the frenzied aftermath of Wednesday’s Parkland school shooting that left 17 dead, the peace of mind of people with names similar to shooter Nikolas Cruz has become collateral damage.
At the same time, Russian-linked “bots” — automated user accounts that impersonate humans on social media platforms — are flooding cyber space with divisive political propaganda to exploit the tragedy, according to a report in Wired magazine.
Just hours after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, bot armies began using their online presence to promote conspiracy theories dubbing the attack as “false flags” — an operation organized by the U.S. government as a prelude to the seizure of weapons.
MOSCOW — At first, new recruits to the Internet Research Agency, the notorious Russian troll factory, were thrilled by the better-than-average salaries they earned simply for posting on the internet. But one says he eventually realized that the work hid a darker reality: both they and their audience were meant to turn into zombies.
“They were just giving me money for writing,” said the former troll, a St. Petersburg resident who wanted to get into marketing or journalism but was drawn by the hard-to-match $1,400 weekly paycheck. “I was much younger and did not think about the moral side. I simply wrote because I loved writing. I was not trying to change the world.”
On Friday, the United States Department of Justice accused the Internet Research Agency and its senior employees of working illegally to meddle in the 2016 American presidential election, indicting 13 Russians and the companies linked to it.
In recent interviews conducted before the indictments, two former trolls spoke about their experiences. Neither man wanted his full name used, citing the threats and intimidation others have been subjected to for speaking out.
Both left the agency for different reasons — one troubled by the substance of the work, the other struggling with the breakneck pace to create fake content.
Aleksei, the troll from St. Petersburg, said he was among the first 25 employees hired. To get the job, he said, he had to write an essay on the “Dulles Doctrine,” a Soviet-era conspiracy theory that may seem obscure to Westerners but is well known to Russians.
That was a significant clue about what was to come. The Dulles Doctrine — born in a 1971 novel, and gaining new life after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 — was a supposed plot by Allen Dulles, the C.I.A. director from 1953 to 1961, to destroy the Soviet Union by corrupting its moral values and cultural heritage.
That, as the West has learned in the last couple of years, is precisely what the Kremlin and the troll factory set out to do to the United States, undermining faith in its electoral system by encouraging or even establishing groups that would sow domestic discord. Troll factory tactics included applauding Donald Trump’s candidacy while trying to undermine Hillary Clinton’s.