UK media reported this month that the Russian troll farm “Cyber Front Z” has targeted some of the world’s biggest electronic musicians in Europe, including Daft Punk, David Guetta, and Tiësto, to spread war misinformation and support for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. According to a report by Mixmag:
May 4, 2022 A Russian disinformation operation based in an old arms factory in St Petersburg have targeted some of the world’s biggest electronic musicians in Europe, including Daft Punk, David Guetta, and Tiësto. As reported by The Guardian, the ‘troll factory’ aims to spread war misinformation and support for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The UK government is now taking action and citing research into the case. […] Social media accounts of electronic musicians, as well as German rock group Rammstein, are amongst those targeted. Their activity was most commonly found on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, with some detection on Twitter and Facebook. […] According to research, the operation compensated TikTok influencers to spread pro-Kremlin and pro-war propaganda, by recruiting and hiring “salaried workers”.
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According to a report by the Guardian, the troll factory is suspected to be linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Internet Research Agency accused of meddling in the 2016 election that saw Donald Trump win the presidency. The same report says the Telegram channel “Cyber Front Z” has played a key role in the network.
In April, the Global Influence Operations Report reported that Cyber Front Z consists of a public-facing Telegram channel where volunteers are directed to post disinformation under their own names and a private, professional troll army paid to post similar disinformation using fake identities. According to an investigation by Russian independent media, over 100 Cyber Front Z trolls are offered a monthly salary of around $431.96 to post pro-Russian comments on content as directed by Cyber Front Z supervisors. The Telegram channel has amassed more than 102,000 subscribers since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.