A 'troll farm' or 'troll factory' was disclosed by BuzzFeed journalists, documenting a fake news trolling operation run by the Russian Government in St. Petersburg. Plans for the facility were leaked to Western press by a secretive Russian hacker collective, but are understandably difficult to verify. It is easy to find comments on blogs, tweets, facebook postings, etc that are curiously pro-Russia. Often the languaging is strange as if the writer understands very little English.
On an average working day, the Russians are to post on news articles 50 times. Each blogger is to maintain six Facebook accounts publishing at least three posts a day and discussing the news in groups at least twice a day. By the end of the first month, they are expected to have won 500 subscribers and get at least five posts on each item a day. On Twitter, the bloggers are expected to manage 10 accounts with up to 2,000 followers and tweet 50 times a day.
Perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin see's the Internet as a CIA plot to something or other, and therefore Russia will invade the Internet. Maybe it's not exactly that, but if Russia can undermine the value of the Internet then wouldn't it be possible for Russia to steer events in its desired direction?
David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.