Russian trolls recently have started hyping a mix of misinformation about the coronavirus and crazed conspiracy theories posted by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The Daily Beast reports that one of the trolls’ main information operations revolves around blaming the United States Department of Defense for purportedly creating the coronavirus, even though all credible epidemiologists agree it originated in China.
“The story, posted to Russian-language blogs and Reddit by multiple fake personas, tries to pin the blame on the COVID-19 outbreak on the U.S. and Kazakhstan by casting the virus as the byproduct of a U.S. nonproliferation program in the country,” the publication finds. “The trolls pointed to social media posts by a group of hackers calling themselves ‘Anonymous Kazakhstan.'”
While the misinformation about COVID-19 appears to have been created by Russian intelligence services, The Daily Beast also found that Russian trolls haven’t had to rely on their own creativity nearly as much when it comes to undermining the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Instead, they’ve simply been letting Giuliani do their work for them.
“The theme of Democratic collusion with Ukraine to undermine Trump’s candidacy, often touted by President Trump and his allies, is a theme Russian intelligence operatives have pushed for years,” the publication writes. “Many of the Secondary Infektion stories used phony screengrabs or forged documents to further their narrative. By contrast, the authors of the fake KGB support story relied on the conspiracy theorizing of Rudy Giuliani and the Trump-cheering cable news channel OANN to push their story.”