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Internet Research Agency Uses Social Media To Boost QAnon

October 14th, 2020 06:56

Reuters is report­ing that Russia’s Inter­net Research Agency is attempt­ing to use social media accounts to boost the role of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries pro­mot­ed by QAnon. Accord­ing to the report:

August 20, 2020 (Reuters) — Russ­ian gov­ern­ment-sup­port­ed orga­ni­za­tions are play­ing a small but increas­ing role ampli­fy­ing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries pro­mot­ed by QAnon, rais­ing con­cerns of inter­fer­ence in the Novem­ber U. S. elec­tion. Aca­d­e­mics who study QAnon said there were no signs Rus­sia had a hand in the ear­ly days of the move­ment, which launched in 2017 with anony­mous web post­ings ampli­fied by YouTube videos. But as QAnon gained adher­ents and took on new top­ics — with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump as the con­stant hero wag­ing a mis­un­der­stood bat­tle — social media accounts tied to a key Krem­lin ally joined in. In 2019, accounts removed by Twit­ter and sus­pect­ed of being con­trolled by Russia’s Inter­net Research Agency sent a high vol­ume of tweets tagged with #QAnon and the move­ment slo­gan #WWG1WGA, short for Where We Go One, We Go All, said Melanie Smith, head of analy­sis at social media analy­sis firm Graphi­ka. The IRA was indict­ed by Robert Mueller in his elec­tion inter­fer­ence pros­e­cu­tion. More recent­ly, Russ­ian gov­ern­ment-backed media RT. com and Sput­nik have stepped up cov­er­age of QAnon, which began with a false procla­ma­tion Hillary Clin­ton would be arrest­ed for an unde­ter­mined rea­son and now includes the­o­ries about child traf­fick­ing by Hol­ly­wood elites, the nov­el coro­n­avirus and more. Alethea Group dis­in­for­ma­tion expert Cindy Otis, a for­mer CIA ana­lyst, said RT, Sput­nik and oth­er Krem­lin-backed media have been writ­ing more about QAnon, using it to fit into their broad­er nar­ra­tive of: “The U. S. is falling apart, look how much divi­sion there is.”After Twit­ter banned thou­sands of QAnon accounts last month, RT. com pre­dict­ed the move would back­fire by direct­ing more atten­tion to the cause, adding that “it gave QAnon fol­low­ers the val­i­da­tion they craved.”

Read the rest here:

Accord­ing to the BBC, QAnon is: 

…a wide-rang­ing, unfound­ed con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that says that Pres­i­dent Trump is wag­ing a secret war against elite Satan-wor­ship­ping pae­dophiles in gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and the media .QAnon believ­ers have spec­u­lat­ed that this fight will lead to a day of reck­on­ing where promi­nent peo­ple such as for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hillary Clin­ton will be arrest­ed and exe­cut­ed.  

Read the entire arti­cle here.

The Inter­net Research Agency (IRA) is a Russ­ian com­pa­ny based in St. Peter­burg which is engaged in online influ­ence oper­a­tions on behalf of Russ­ian busi­ness and polit­i­cal inter­ests. It is some­times described as a “troll farm” and is linked to Russ­ian oli­garch Yevge­ny Prigozhin, a wealthy asso­ciate of Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. In Feb­ru­ary 2018, a Unit­ed States grand jury indict­ed 13 Russ­ian nation­als and 3 Russ­ian enti­ties, includ­ing the Inter­net Research Agency and Prigozhin,  on charges of vio­lat­ing crim­i­nal laws with the intent to inter­fere with U.S. elec­tions and polit­i­cal process­es in sup­port of the pres­i­den­tial can­di­da­cy of Don­ald Trump. The indict­ment said that the IRA sought to wage “infor­ma­tion war­fare” against the Unit­ed States and to “sow dis­cord” in the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal sys­tem by using fic­ti­tious Amer­i­can per­sonas and social media plat­forms and oth­er Inter­net-based media.