Russian accounts still active on pro-Trump-researcher sites
A group suspected of being Russian has remained active on internet services favored by far-right Americans, showing that efforts to interfere in US politics continue after the election, according to the research firm’s reports. social media Graphika and the non-profit association Advance Democracy Inc.
The group, which Graphika believes is linked to previous Russian meddling efforts, maintains at least 20 accounts on a new version of an Internet bulletin board formerly known as TheDonald, in reference to former President Donald Trump. The Reddit discussion site banned the forum last year, saying it encouraged violence against public officials.
Nineteen of the accounts on the rebranded Patriots.win site were created in three hours on November 5, two days after the presidential election, Graphika said, and amplified Republican Trump’s false claims about vote rigging. www.graphika.com/patriotes
The accounts also published cartoons and comments that falsely accuse President Joe Biden, a Democrat, of pedophilia and senility. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the posts.
Graphika said 16 times in March and April that the Patriots.win accounts published the same cartoons as the accounts the company was already tracking on Gab, a site popular with white supremacists. Neither Gab’s top executive nor a group of Patriots.win moderators responded to Reuters questions about the accounts.
The cartoons, which were not appearing anywhere else online, “might indicate an attempt at experimentation by trying to inject specific messages” on different themes, said Marc-André Argentino, a researcher at the International Center for the Study of Human Rights. radicalization.
Identical posts from Patriots.win and Gab were still on view last week, although Reuters could not independently establish that they were posted by the same people.
Gab accounts previously promoted a site called Newsroom for American and European Based Citizens (NAEBC), which Facebook experts said was associated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian government contractor. .
The accounts’ activities show that they act in close coordination with known IRA disinformation operations, Graphika said. The posts generally took place within the hour on the Patriots.net and Gab networks, Graphika said.
The entrepreneur was indicted in 2018 by US special attorney Robert Mueller for interference in the 2016 election; he did not plead and has reorganized since then. NAEBC is offline, and the founder of IRA did not return a message asking for comment.
Moscow denies any interference in the US elections.
“The same alleged Russian actors who targeted the 2020 US election have retooled and redoubled their efforts,” said Graphika director of investigations Jack Stubbs, a former Reuters reporter.
Advance Democracy said Gab accounts have more followers now than when NAEBC was publicly linked to the IRA last year and was offline. He said the linked accounts were active on Parler, which did not respond to a request for comment. Reuters has not been able to independently confirm this.
The most active of the Patriots accounts on Thursday.win posted “2A is the Answer to the Corrupt Pedo Elite”, garnering hundreds of votes in support. 2A refers to the Second Amendment to the US Constitution protecting the right to bear arms.
The account did not return a message requesting comment.
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