Russia

Report: Russian Trolls Also Organized Anti-“Killary” Rallies

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Daily Beast reported yesterday that Facebook confirmed to them that Russia's professional trolls used Facebook Events to organize anti-immigrant rallies including one really in Twin Falls, Idaho.

According to Business Insider, one of the Russian-backed Facebook groups recently kicked off the social network also used Facebook Events to organize anti-"Killary Rotten Clinton" rallies in Texas.

The group, called Heart of Texas, had over 225,000 followers as of last summer. It was shut down last week as part of Facebook's takedown of accounts and pages "affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia," a Facebook spokesman told Business Insider on Wednesday. [...]

The event called on Texans in major cities like Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin to protest "establishment robbers" and "higher taxes to feed undocumented aliens." It further claimed that a "Killary Rotten Clinton" victory would lead to an influx of "refugees, mosques, and terrorist attacks."

In each of these cases, the groups secretly run by Russia operatives didn't just popularize these idea organically through word of mouth; they paid Facebook at least $100,00 or more to promote their pages and events so people who wouldn't have seen it on their own ended up seeing it.

The specific language they've featured in their ads tells us Russian intelligence has a pretty firm grasp on how to use right wing American ignorance and prejudice to manipulate people. But it's not just right wing language. Referring to Hillary Clinton as "Killary" and using "establishment" as a dirty word is also very popular among a segment of the left as well.

There are undoubtedly tens of thousands of people who have no idea they were manipulated by a Russian intelligence operation. Just as many wouldn't believe you if you told them, or they wouldn't care.

  • Aynwrong

    Another way of looking at this is that decades of Republican racist fear mongering (especially during the Obama Administration) helped to create the perfect environment for a hostile foreign power to exploit to it’s own advantage.

    The Republican party weakened our nation and did so for reasons of pure venality.

    • ninjaf

      And to retain power.

  • muselet

    Somewhere in the bowels of FSB headquarters, a man proudly polishes his new Орден «За заслуги перед Отечеством», I степени (Order “For Merit to the Fatherland,” 1st Class) medal and daydreams of being awarded an Орден Святого Георгия, I степени (Order of Saint George, 1st Class) by Vladimir Putin personally, after the next American election.

    –alopecia

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