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leaked Kremlin documents detailing current Russian troll tactics

  • leaked Kremlin documents detailing current Russian troll tactics

    A rare view into Russia’s current propaganda tactics, really useful to spot it in action:

    In an ongoing campaign that seeks to influence congressional and other political debates to stoke anti-Ukraine sentiment, Kremlin-linked political strategists and trolls have written thousands of fabricated news articles, social media posts and comments that promote American isolationism, stir fear over the United States’ border security and attempt to amplify U.S. economic and racial tensions, according to a trove of internal Kremlin documents obtained by a European intelligence service […] One of the political strategists … instructed a troll farm employee working for his firm to write a comment of “no more than 200 characters in the name of a resident of a suburb of a major city.” The strategist suggested that this fictitious American “doesn’t support the military aid that the U.S. is giving Ukraine and considers that the money should be spent defending America’s borders and not Ukraine’s. He sees that Biden’s policies are leading the U.S. toward collapse.” … The files are part of a series of leaks that have allowed a rare glimpse into Moscow’s parallel efforts to weaken support for Ukraine in France and Germany, as well as destabilize Ukraine itself … [via] the creation of websites designed to impersonate legitimate media outlets in Europe, part of a campaign that Western officials have called “Doppelganger”. Plans by Gambashidze’s team refer to using “short-lived” social media accounts aimed at avoiding detection. Social media manipulators have established a technique of using accounts to send out links to material and then deleting their posts or accounts once others have reshared the content. The idea is to obscure the true origin of misleading information and keep the channel open for future influence operations, disinformation researchers said. Propaganda operatives have used another technique to spread just a web address, rather than the words in a post, to frustrate searches for that material, according to the social media research company Alethea, which called the tactic “writing with invisible ink.” Other obfuscation tricks include redirecting viewers through a series of seemingly random websites until they arrive at a deceptive article. One of the documents reviewed by The Post called for the use of Trump’s Truth Social platform as the only way to disseminate posts “without censorship,” while “short-lived” accounts would be created for Facebook, Twitter (now known as X) and YouTube. “You just have to push content every single day … someone will stumble over it, a politician or celebrity will find it over time just based on the availability of content.”
    “Flooding the zone with shit”, as Steve Bannon put it.

    (tags: propaganda russia tactics spam trolls troll-farms destabilization social-media)