Social media has been a complete hell-hole since the start of this election cycle, with both parties acting like imbeciles when it comes to interacting with one another online. However, now news is surfacing that might prove that some of the most vocal and aggressive Trump supporters, with their American flag-laden profile pictures, might not be Americans at all. According to Business Insider, many of them may be Russians being paid to pose as pro-Trump Americans.
Adrian Chen, a staff writer at The New Yorker, made the discovery when he was writing an exposé on Russia's government-sanctioned, highly-paid army of internet trolls (the piece had nothing to do with the election). Apparently he had made a list of all the accounts that were being paid to troll and would check in on them periodically as he wrote his story. Slowly but surely, he noticed that the accounts started to post more and more about how much they love Donald Trump.
Here is what Chen told Max Linsky on the Longform podcast back in December:
I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don't know what's going on, but they're all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff. I feel like it’s some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the US or something. Like false-flag kind of thing. You know, that’s how I started thinking about all this stuff after being in Russia.
Well, it's a strategy for sure. Spreading misinformation to create discord is an old KBG tactic (which President Vladimir Putin was once an agent for) called "dezinformatsiya," and is a well-loved method of psychological warfare that Russia has been using since the Cold War to sway opinions and control elections, which is why it has been working so well on the more impressionable parts of the American public.