A divisive alt-right blogger with thousands of Twitter followers has been unmasked as a product of Russia’s infamous “troll farm”. Twitter troll Jenna Abrams, who had amassed more than 70,000 followers, was exposed following an investigation into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election by the US senate Intelligence Committee. The Daily Beast reports that Abrams, whose account was created in 2014, was the brainchild of the Russian government-funded Internet Research Agency in St Petersburg.
Her viral tweets on topics from Kim Kardashian’s naked selfie to feminism were picked up by mainstream media outlets and helped grow her online following, but her messages quickly became more political in the run-up to the election. Before Donald Trump was elected in November last year, Ms Abrams created division and disunity with posts on contentious issues like the Confederate flag debate, segregation and Black Lives Matter. “To those people, who hate the Confederate flag. Did you know that the flag and the war wasn’t about slavery, it was all about money,” read one of her tweets. While the tweets appeared to be coming from a young American woman with right-wing views, Jenna Abrams didn’t actually exist.
Since being exposed, both Twitter and Google have suspended accounts associated with @Jenn_Abrams. Last month, an internet troll who said he worked at the “troll farm” and was tasked with disrupting the US election by watching Netflix series House of Cards to learn about the American political system.
“At first we were forced to watch House of Cards in English. It was necessary to know all the main problems of the United States of America. Tax problems, the problem of gays, sexual minorities, weapons,” the Russian troll, known as Maksim, revealed. “Our goal wasn’t to turn Americans toward Russia. Our goal was to set Americans against their own government,” he said. “To provoke unrest, provoke dissatisfaction, lower (Barack) Obama’s rating.”