Russian Troll Factory Worker Reveals All Were Made To Watch House Of Cards To Learn About US Politics

Yahoo News reports:

The Russians who worked for a notorious St. Petersburg “troll factory” that was part of Vladimir Putin’s campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election were required to watch the “House of Cards” television series to help them craft messages to “set up the Americans against their own government,” according to an interview broadcast Sunday (in Russian) with a former member of the troll factory’s elite English language department.

The interview, broadcast by the independent Russian TV station Rain, provides new insight into how the troll factory formerly known as the Internet Research Agency targeted U.S. audiences in part by posting provocative “comments” pretending to be from Americans on newspaper articles that appeared on the websites of the New York Times and Washington Post.

“At first we were forced to watch the ‘House of Cards’ in English,” said Maksim in the interview. It was part of a documented “strategy” in the English language department to fully understand how the American political system works. “It was necessary to know all the main problems of the United States of America. Tax problems, the problem of gays, sexual minorities, weapons,” he said.

The trolls were reportedly graded by their bosses based on how many “likes” their anti-gay, pro-gun, and anti-Hillary comments got.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    So now we can blame Claire

  • pablo

    Does this mean we’re getting Melania in 2020?

  • Ziad Baaklini

    I feel like I’m in House of Cards

  • JWC

    Veddy Inturesding

  • bkmn

    Just one step farther than FuxSnooz usually goes.

  • Tawreos

    How many of these stories do we need to see before the administration and the congress takes any actions or even starts to acknowledge that the last election was influenced by a foreign power and the steps they will take to curb that in the future?

    • Treant

      (checks watch). (drops watch, looks for calendar). (decides maybe stone long-calendar would be better, but doesn’t have one).

      Let’s just say never, shall we? Certainly not as long as Republicans have any power to filibuster legislation or hold any of the three offices of government or the higher courts. Effectively never.

    • DreadPikathulhu

      Once they’ve finished turning back the clock with regards to taxes, federal benefits, equal rights, and environmental protections they’ll consider looking into foreign influence, which by that point will have been redefined to include anyone not a GOP party member.

    • JWC

      As long as the GOP has no ears to hear no eyes to see and definetly no nose to smell the shit

    • Nowhereman

      Given that the interference benefited the republicans and the republicans now have a death grip on the White House and Congress and the majority on SCOTUS thanks to stealing the seat from Obama, I’d say they will get right on that as soon as hell freezes over.

  • JWC

    Kevin Spacey once said that he was amazed how closley the plot line followed actual politics

    • Daveed_WOW

      Who is Trump going to push down the stairs?

      • JWC

        I can think of several who will not walk the stairs with him

    • Goodboy

      How come they could be forced to watch the Westwing instead though? You know. An administration at it’s best.

    • jerry

      I’m binge-watching Season 5 now. The thing I think is rather unbelievable in today’s political climate, is that Frank Underwood, using every political dirty trick in the book, and with a rather authoritarian streak, is a Democrat. Today’s Democrats play nice and by the rules, then watch in horror as the GOP uses those dirty tricks and authoritarian tactics and win.

      • JWC

        That’s why I say that the GOP should be investigated and show Just cause why they should hold a charter and mandate to operate as a politcal party They lie, cheat change the rules to assist themselves yet scream bloody murder if the DNC does anything remotely similar

    • DonnaLee

      Kerry Washington said people have come to her saying some of the stuff they’ve done on Scandal was akin to things that have happened in DC. That should scare people more.

  • james1200

    This has to be the biggest joke in the history of the Cosmos! America, the most powerful empire the world has ever seen, taken down by a third-rate troll farm in a third-world country called Russia.

    https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2014-06/20/7/enhanced/webdr05/anigif_enhanced-buzz-2014-1403264807-19.gif

    • Daveed_WOW

      Didn’t the Barbarians take down Rome?

      • Lazycrockett

        By the time the Barbarians showed up Rome had pretty much rotted from the inside. Failure to maintain their aqueducts and farming out everything to mercenaries was the main problem.

        • Treant

          This. Wildkin can’t topple a healthy empire, but one that’s decayed is easy to topple with a touch.

          If it hadn’t gone then, it would have collapsed on its own shortly thereafter. Really, the handwriting was on the wall by the year 300 and, if you looked very closely, the decay was apparent several hundred years before.

          • Lazycrockett

            Yep by the time the Hun showed up Romans was using the Collosseum as a garbage dump.

        • Nowhereman

          Funny–that’s what the republicans are doing. Letting our infrastructure go to hell and privatizing as much of it as they can, including our military, education and electoral systems.

        • Daveed_WOW

          …sounds awfully familiar….

      • james1200

        Look at you, using your fancy knowledge of “historical facts” and “book learnin'” against me.

        • Daveed_WOW

          You caught me. I’m a liberal elitist.

    • tbj5

      It worked because there was rot in the US. And a few genuinely evil people like Trump who already sold their souls to Putin for $$$.

      But Russia did so much more than run one or two Troll Farm. The fact that they keep showing us the Farm is proof that they want us to think that was the extent of their actions. A slight crime, so that we stop looking for the major ones they’re still hiding.

      • Inez

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    • The_Wretched

      They took out the deathstar by lodging missals up the exhaust port.

      • Nowhereman

        Would that be catholic, protestant or Russian orthodox missals?

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    “At first we were forced to watch the ‘House of Cards’ in English,” said Maksim in the interview”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1e72618bb7805b453c195852eff025a09f7a89d639843a4b5909ba50b96bdf51.jpg

    • coram nobis

      I’m sure they found it uplifting.

    • DonnaLee

      I’m sorry….you were saying something….

  • greenmanTN

    If our political system wasn’t like House Of Cards before, it is now.

    • james1200

      If Trump was half as smart as Frank Underwood, we’d really be in trouble. Thankfully, he’s as dumb as dirt. Still doing so much damage but since he’s stupid and has a disordered mind, he’s alienated those he needs to pass his fascist agenda.

    • Goodboy

      They characterized Putin as even more evil then Frank Underwood. Very accurate.

  • Lazycrockett

    Man I must be the only one having not watched this show.

    • Goodboy

      My only problem is that I binge watch it so each season is over in a matter of 2 days for me:(

      • DonnaLee

        I try to string it out for 4 days at least by watching other things.

    • BJORN RAGNVALDR

      I’ve never seen it.

    • KCMC

      welcome to (small) group

    • ColdCountry

      Never seen it, either.

    • -M-

      I watched a season of the British original. Fun at first but overall too dark and cynical for my taste.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    They like Roy, they really really like him :

    https://twitter.com/RobinBrenizer/status/919954666120712194

  • Bluto

    People see what they want to see. Who knew our country could be taken over so easily.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0697c298ade3dad02d64155bac5016480c1d20f90078ab8ec2d43dc32d0c57c9.jpg

  • anne marie in philly

    “the problem of gays” – gay people are NOT the problem; GOPricks, xstains, the american taliban, the neo-nazis, the alt-right ARE THE PROBLEM!

  • tbj5

    Their front-facing troll factory is a fraction of the espionage and propaganda Russia infused into our election; take admissions like these with a grain of salt, and realize they’ve done much worse than watch Netflix.

  • gaycuckhubby

    Kevin Spacey not having a good week.

  • boatboy_srq

    You would have thought that Gut Patriotische Ahmurkkkans would all be bent that they were manipulated by a foreign power, especially them Russkies.

    However, seems that as long as them Rushin ‘bots hate Teh Blahs, Teh Browns and Teh Kveers as much as they do, they’re just fine with playing puppets.

  • Ernest Endevor

    So they watch a British satire based on Shakespeare to learn bout US politics. That seems about right.

    • Maybe — but there is also an American version/spinoff/ripoff which bears very little resemblance to BBC’s original apart from the title. Made for internet-only viewing (via Netflix) it has been going since 2013 and has chalked up 65 episodes to date. I imagine that this is what the Russians have been watching.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Cards_(U.S._TV_series)

  • crazy

  • Nowhereman

    Russia has an election coming up next March. Could we fuck with it please please please? I’d like to see whoever runs against Putin to get at least 110% of the vote.

    • Gianni

      People who dare to run against Putin end up arrested or dead well before any election.

  • NZArtist

    It’s funny – before the US elections I was an avid watcher of House of Cards. I loved that it was edgy and outrageous.
    But now I just cant be bothered. It’s so tame compared to what is actually going on.

    • DonnaLee

      Just imagine, a president who could have one of the first priorities a jobs program with bipartisan support. And one who didn’t make totally asinine promises he had no intention of keeping.