Internal documents from Russia’s infamous “troll farm” have leaked — and they reveal that the group made inroads on more social networks and incited more violence than previously reported.
The Daily Beast on Thursday night released a report on the internal comings and goings of the Internet Research Agency were auctioned off on a Russian “information exchange” in February 2017. Though no one bid, the listing for the information itself promised, in Russian, “working data from the department focused on the United States” that until now were not known to the American public.
The document cache, named “Savushkina 55″ after the physical address of the troll farm in St. Petersburg,” revealed that along with having accounts on YouTube and Twitter, the Internet Research Agency also made inroads on Reddit and Tumblr as well.
It also reveals that a troll-created account, known as “Blactivist,” took great pains to sow discord on both sides of an August 2016 rally in Stone Mountain, Georgia, the site of the country’s largest Confederate monument located near Atlanta. Blactivist communicated with civil rights veterans and white supremacists alike.
Working both sides of the growing Confederate monument debate, the IRA stoked the confrontation between the monuments’ “defenders” and anti-racist activists opposed to it. Soon after, Russia Today and its “video news agency” Ruptly covered the event, placing the blame on the police’s violent reaction that included to tear gas and stun grenades on Confederate counter-protesters.
“Tear gas and stun grenades were used, and arrests were made—but none on the Confederate side,” Ruptly’s article on the event read.