1/ THREAD: What doesn’t appear on #Hamilton68 is often as interesting as what does. Today, near silence on the Manafort verdict. Instead, the focus is largely on using the Mollie Tibbetts murder to spread divisive content on #immigration. This follows a familiar pattern.
2/ On Dec 1, 2017, accounts monitored on #Hamilton68 pounced on the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco.
3/ The dashboard’s findings on December 1, 2017 mirror data collected by Clemson Univ. researchers, who recently published more than 3 million tweets from IRA troll accounts.
4/ Among those IRA accounts, well over 20% of English-language tweets on 12/1/17 focused on the Kate Steinle case, and it remained a point of focus for the rest of the week.
5/ The most active IRA account (that we know of) was @COVFEFENATIONUS, a right-leaning troll who tweeted several hundred inflammatory messages about the case (samples below), while also tweeting at news outlets and the president.
6/ .@COVFEFENATIONUS was not alone. Fellow right trolls @Amconvoice and @Barbarafortrump posted almost exclusively about the Steinle murder on 12/1.
7/ But like almost every social issue, there were also Russian trolls targeting the left. Samples below from two left-leaning IRA troll accounts, @fighttoresist and @jemishaaazzz.
8/ What's the goal? Use a tragic moment to amplify an issue (immigration) that divides Americans. Today, there's also the added goal of distracting us from a topic that is more problematic in terms of Russian interests. THREAD ENDS.

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More from @SecureDemocracy

Jun 19, 2018
1/ Analysis of recently released IRA-linked accounts again reveals that a major pillar of the Kremlin’s social media influence campaigns revolves around the impersonation of local news sources, such as @ChicagoDailyNew, which had more than 19,000 followers in July 2016.
2/ The @ChicagoDailyNew account, which joined Twitter in May 2014, seems to have often tweeted links to legitimate news sources, likely to build credibility and expand its following before it was operationalized for influence.
3/ Given the site’s large following, name, and graphics, users who followed the account likely believed it was a legitimate local news source; however, the real Chicago Daily News closed down in 1978.
Read 9 tweets
May 10, 2018
1/ The themes expolited by Kremlin-linked IRA ads on Facebook are nothing new and match what we've seen on other platforms. What's notable is how they not only play both sides of issues but also micro-target segements of U.S. pop. Take these pro and anti police ads:
2/ IRA accounts also played heavily on the racial divide in the US. Targeting of both Black Lives Matter supporters as well as those interested in Southern Pride and the Confederate flag are prevalant.
3/ There was also a significant effort by IRA accounts to inflame anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments while at the same time targeting immigrants and Muslims with ads that highlighted the very same anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments that they were helping to push.
Read 4 tweets

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