"Russian troll factory paid US activists to help fund protests during election"
"Russian trolls posing as Americans made payments to genuine activists in the US to
help fund protest movements on socially divisive issues, according to a new investigation
by a respected Russian media outlet."
"Perhaps the most alarming element of the article was the claim that employees of the
troll factory had contacted about 100 real US-based activists to help with the organisation of
protests and events. RBC claimed the activists were contacted by Facebook group administrators
hiding their Russian origin and were offered financial help to pay for transport or printing costs.
About $80,000 was spent during a two-year period, according to the report.
The main topics covered by the groups run from Russia were race relations, Texan
independence and gun rights. RBC counted 16 groups relating to the Black Lives Matter
campaign and other race issues that had a total of 1.2 million subscribers. The biggest
group was entitled Blacktivist and reportedly had more than 350,000 likes at its peak."
"The infiltration of American social networks by Russian trolls and bots appears to be the
conclusion of an operation that began by targeting the Russian-language internet space,
grew to encompass the comment pages of western newspapers and blogs, and eventually
seems to have led to the creation of whole Facebook communities designed to look like
they are run by ordinary Americans."