Kremlin Version of Wingnut Welfare: Former Paid Troll Tells All
If you’ve spent any time in & around the slow-motion Anschluss of Ukraine, or basically any other issues that Putin feels are important to him, you will have run across the pro-Kremlin trolls. They are pernicious, they are sophisticated, and they are (seemingly) as numerous as sand fleas.
Journalist Lyudmila Savchuk infiltrated the Kremlin’s online propaganda outfit. In this Der Spiegel interview, she talks about how “The hatred spills over into the real world.”
SPIEGEL ONLINE: So who are the trolls?
Savchuk: Students. At 34, I was the exception. The worse thing is that these young people are totally indifferent about what they are writing. I believe that the crime of extremism is actually being committed in the these troll factories.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: How?
Savchuk : Because they are wishing for the deaths of Ukrainians and Americans. Hatred between nationalities is being incited. These people are writing one thing today, another thing tomorrow and perhaps the next morning they will put masks on in real life and go out on the street and kill someone.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Who issues operative instructions to you?
Savchuk : It was different in every department. For us, they were written, via the intranet, and they were called “technical tasks.” Those who were supposed to comment on media articles were given verbal communication about what they were supposed to write. One example of a key assertion that was to be disseminated was that Boris Nemzov was himself responsible for his death.
There are definite parallels between what the Kremlin does and what Fox, Limbaugh, Breitbart, et al. do - and reading this story is chilling.