Russia’s social-media trolling operation began stepping up its Twitter presence to new heights in late July 2017 — more than eight months after sowing discord and disinformation in the 2016 presidential election.
The burst of activity — revealed in a new, comprehensive dataset of nearly 3 million tweets — had an overriding focus over the ensuing three months: popularizing headlines and news stories that were originally authored by a U.S.-based news site called Truthfeed that supports President Donald Trump and specializes in hyper-partisan, factually incorrect stories.
By Oct. 22, 2017, just hours before Twitter closed nearly all of the known accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency’s troll farm in St. Petersburg, Russia, Truthfeed content accounted for about 95 percent of the accounts’ English-language activity, the dataset shows. Special counsel Robert Mueller in February indicted the Russian agency and 13 individuals on charges of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.
I just took a look at Truthfeed for the first time and their top story claims Pearl Jam has called for assassinating Trump. Seriously.