Quantcast
Connect with us

Pro-Trump student group building a secret ‘troll farm’ designed to get around social media moderation: report

Published

on

President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the 2019 Teen Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported on a stealth “troll farm” by Turning Point USA, the right-wing youth group led up by Charlie Kirk, to recruit teenagers to post disinformation on social media — sometimes getting around policies that sites like Facebook and Twitter use to prevent the spread of false political information.

“Teenagers, some of them minors, are being paid to pump out the messages at the direction of Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA, the prominent conservative youth organization based in Phoenix, according to four people with independent knowledge of the effort,” reported Isaac Stanley-Becker. “Their descriptions were confirmed by detailed notes from relatives of one of the teenagers who recorded conversations with him about the efforts.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The campaign draws on the spam-like behavior of bots and trolls, with the same or similar language posted repeatedly across social media,” continued the report. “But it is carried out, at least in part, by humans paid to use their own accounts, though nowhere disclosing their relationship with Turning Point Action or the digital firm brought in to oversee the day-to-day activity. One user included a link to Turning Point USA’s website in his Twitter profile until The Washington Post began asking questions about the activity.”

Among the claims spread by the teenagers en masse was a tweet warning “don’t trust Dr. Fauci” on the coronavirus case statistics, and a Facebook post baselessly saying expansion of mail-in voting “will lead to fraud for this election.”

To prevent the posts from being flagged as spam, they were “parceled out in precise increments as directed by the effort’s leaders,” and in accordance with the guidelines of an online document, they “posted the same lines a limited number of times to avoid automated detection by the technology companies” and “were instructed to edit the beginning and ending of each snippet to differentiate the posts slightly, according to the notes from the recorded conversation with a participant.”

TPUSA has pushed back on the report, calling the depiction of the effort as a troll farm a “gross mischaracterization.” However, in response to the story, Facebook and Twitter have removed or opened investigations into a number of accounts involved in the operation.

You can read more here.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Fox News host rebuts Trump aide after attack on Chris Wallace: ‘He is going to ask the smart questions’

Published

on

Trump campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley suggested on Thursday that moderator Chris Wallace, a Fox News host, will tilt the upcoming presidential debate in favor of Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

During an interview on Fox News, host Sandra Smith argued that President Donald Trump and his campaign have "set the bar pretty low as far as what we'll see from Joe Biden."

"We haven't set the bar low at all," Gidley insisted. "Joe Biden's own comments and rhetoric sets the bar pretty low."

"But let's be clear, the mainstream media is going to do its level best to cover for Joe Biden no matter what he says or what he does," he continued.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mary Trump sues president and his siblings for cheating her out of family inheritance

Published

on

President Donald Trump and his sibling were sued by their niece, who claims the family cheated her out of millions of dollars.

Mary Trump, whose best-selling memoir describes a deeply dysfunctional family, filed a suit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan accusing the president, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and their late brother Robert Trump of fraud and civil conspiracy, reported the New York Times.

The suit seeks to recover millions of dollars Mary Trump says she was owed from her own late father's inheritance after his 1981 death, when she was just 16 years old.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Mitch McConnell slammed for his ‘oddly specific’ promise to accept results of Nov. 3 election

Published

on

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) added his voice to statements issued by other Republican lawmakers assuring they would accept the election results -- which President Donald Trump suggested he would not.

The president refused to commit to the peaceful transition of power if he loses to Joe Biden, and McConnell and some other Republicans offered some sort of assurance they would -- although none mentioned Trump by name and some suggested Biden had made similar threats.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE