How Vladimir Putin’s troll army operates. News sites, the most affected12 August 2021
According to the latest research, the Kremlin is backed in the shadows by a veritable army of trolls. Their mission is to influence online users by posting pro-Kremlin messages.
Cardiff University’s Crime and Security Research Institute found that 32 major media sites in 16 countries had been targeted by pro-Kremlin troll attacks. These include major publications such as Mail Online, Express and Times.
Researchers claim that pro-Kremlin trolls have been operating for several years, but have recently addressed the withdrawal of the United States and Britain from Afghanistan.
About 250 reports were found to have provocative pro-Kremlin or anti-Western views in comments on topics relevant to Russia, such as Crimean tensions since the start of the investigation in April.
Ã¢ â¬ ÅThis report highlights the threat to our democracy from the Russian state-backed misinformation on the Internet. Britain is working closely with its international allies to counter lying Kremlin trolls who are spreading lies, said British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.
The comments of pro-Kremlin trolls can be easily identified, say researchers. For example, they express clear messages of support for Russia, to the detriment of the West. Moreover, they have a strong character to influence the reader, to convince him of a certain aspect, to misinform him and to manipulate him according to the intentions of the directives that the trolls follow.
Also, another aspect that helps to identify these types of messages is that these comments receive, in a very short time, a large number of reactions, such as likes or other comments.
Some media sites allow people to vote and comment, and researchers say pro-Kremlin comments have received an unusually high number of “positive votes.”
At the same time, these trolls have online profiles that raise suspicions about the veracity of the information published. It was found that an account changed location 69 times and changed its name 549 times since it was created in June last year.