Below is text translated (with some editing) from a Russian magazine article, concerning activities of “Russian trolls” and how they used social media, online fundraising, and community organizing to interfere in the politics of the United States.
Unlike the bogus Trump/Russia collusion meme, this actual subversive foreign activity was not only documented but also extremely damaging to our political process and especially to race relations in this country. [emphasis added]
In May 2016, the famous American activist and one of the founders of the Occupy Wall Street movement [Micah] White received an email from a certain Jan Davis. He introduced himself as a freelance journalist of the BlackMattersUS community, dedicated to the problems of the black population, and asked for a telephone interview. …
BlackMattersUS positioned itself as a non-profit news portal with its own edition. Anyone could also support the fighters against racism by sending a donation through PayPal …
BlackMattersUS … managed to collect a whole portfolio of interviews with famous fighters for the rights of blacks. In addition to White, the community representatives talked with the legendary member of the Black Panthers movement [Ericka] Huggins, the mother of the black teenager [Ramarley] Graham, killed by police in New York, Columbia University professor and godfather [of] rapper Tupac Shakur Jamal Joseph, as well as Ramone Africa, a member of the Philadelphia movement of black MOVE, one of the few survivors of the unprecedented local police raid in 1985 (with a helicopter law-enforcement officers dropped a bomb at the headquarters of the organization).
According to the article, White was asked by these Russian trolls to help them to publicize a flash mob that would demand the release of jailed black activists. BlackMattersUS wanted White’s help with sharing their demands across social media. White was also asked to publicize a protest rally planned in New Orleans during Oct. 2016. Protesters would picket outside the courts and then attend hearings in the case of a black man who was sentenced to life in prison for murder.
Also in Oct. 2016, BlackMattersUS organized a rally against “police violence” in Charlotte, NC. They asked a local black activist named Conrad James to help organize the protest:
He agreed, called on other local fighters for the rights of blacks and other minorities, and even took a megaphone with him to the action.
Protest rallies, flash mobs, and websites weren’t the only activities Russian trolls apparently facilitated to increase racial division in the U.S.
Besides BlackMattersUS, they created an organization called BlackFist, one goal of which was to provide free self-defense courses.
In January 2017 (the month President Trump was inaugurated), BlackFist trolls recruited a martial arts instructor in New York by the name of Omowale Adeweil via social media. The instructor, paid by BlackFist, provided self-defense classes for over 5 months in Queens and Brooklyn. Other self-defense courses were sponsored by BlackFist in Lansing, Los Angeles, and Tampa; these were run by different trainers recruited from those areas, again via social media. BlackFist paid Adeweil about $320 per month via Google Wallet and later PayPal. Photos posted on social media from the training sessions indicate that trainees were mostly black teens and women.
Concurrently, in New York, Black Lives Matter sponsored self-defense training for blacks, in response to the election of President Trump. BLM attempted to tie Trump directly to white supremacists and “racial terrorists”:
At a protest last night, Hawk Newsome, president of the New York BLM chapter, said his organization will host free self-defense classes this summer and distribute literature in all five boroughs to inform people of “exactly what’s going on.” …
Indeed, he argued that blacks needed to prepare to respond to increasing proliferation and prominence of hate groups—”racial terrorists”—following the election.
“When Donald Trump won, there was a KKK rally to celebrate,” Newsome added. “These folks are coming together and if you don’t take anything away from this tonight, you have to put down your differences and come together to fight back. The oppressor is organized, okay, and he has his henchmen that go around and carrying out these heinous attacks. We have to come together and protect one another.”
This is exactly the type of racial hatred that the Russians intended exacerbate. It’s also exactly the type of hateful political rhetoric used against President Trump by the media as well as his political opponents. Are we really supposed to believe that the Russian trolls were trying to help President Trump by stirring the racial pot against him?
Russian trolls recruited as many as 100 local activists to help organize rallies and direct action.
Other front organizations were created by Russian trolls. They, too, used websites and social media to incite racial and anti-police division in the USA.
The firms routing these websites’ internet traffic include Cloudflare, a major Silicon Valley corporation, and a Ukrainian company’s subsidiary in Florida.
The websites are part of a network run by the Internet Research Agency, a troll army based in St. Petersburg, Russia, with ties to the Kremlin. The groups, with names like “Don’t Shoot Us” and “Black Matters,” posed as black American activists. They posted videos showing police brutality against African Americans and attempted to organize protests across the United States. But they need internet infrastructure to keep sites online. … A mysterious group calling itself “Blacktivist” publicized black activist protests across the country and even sold Blacktivist T-shirts. DoNotShoot.us tracked police brutality against minorities.
A quick check shows that some of these Russian websites are still up and running, despite the fact that they’ve been identified as divisive foreign propaganda. Compare this to how conservative U.S. websites, alternative media, and citizen-run blogs have been censored by social media companies. It’s enough to make you believe that some companies consider U.S. citizens to be more of a threat than Russian propagandists. Of course, maybe they’re headed up by “fellow travelers” instead of “deplorables.”
… Cloudflare serves as a guard that receives incoming internet traffic. It offers this service to legitimate companies, but in this case, it is also inadvertently assisting the Russian troll army’s operations.
Cloudflare its role as a proxy service when asked specifically about DoNotShoot.us … said “terminating a customer wouldn’t actually remove the content from the internet.” Cutting off that customer would, however, stop the Russians from using that particular American firm as a shield.
Cloudflare also provided online services to the U.S.-based neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, until it decided to drop the site earlier this year.
The company’s CEO, Matthew Prince, made the decision to drop the site but later warned of the consequences of companies, like his, making such decisions.
“You win a lot of points for firing Nazis from using your service,” Prince said in August. “But it sets a dangerous precedent when a company that most of your viewers have never heard of is effectively deciding what can and cannot be on the internet.” …
Cloudflare said it would not consider dropping these Russia-linked websites unless compelled to by a court order.
So they’ll censor U.S. citizens but not Russians? They’re against “Nazi” speech but apparently okay with Russians who incite racial hatred and anti-police “direct action?”
The mainstream media would like to pretend that Russian trolls were working against Hillary Clinton and for Donald Trump. They also would like to pretend that President Trump and his campaign were “colluding” with Russians to ensure that Trump won the election.
What about the American “activists” who were working with Russians–foreigners–to collect money, organize “peaceful protests,” and flash mobs? Are we to believe that Hillary Clinton’s campaign did not benefit from their actions? Did these activists not support her candidacy?
What about the hateful, divisive rhetoric used against, among others, the police? This type of anti-police rhetoric and also the so-called peaceful protests (in some cases riots) have led to the deaths of police officers.
On the one hand, you have allegations without any proof (after over a year of investigating) that President Trump’s campaign “colluded” with Russians (such as Natalia Veselnitskaya) or alleged Russian allies (particularly Wikileaks) to obtain “opposition research” on Hillary Clinton.
However, in the case of Wikileaks, what was published was 100% true. Would it have been better had the American people voted without knowing the truth about Clinton?
On the other hand, you have what appears to be solid evidence that Russian trolls created websites and phony organizations and used them as well as social media to collect funds and gather followers in the U.S. that they then induced (with words and money) to engage in “direct action” that Russians organized, and all based upon lies like “hands up; don’t shoot.”
Such direct action over the past few years has resulted in violence, vandalism, threats, intimidation, and even deaths within the USA. Not to mention racial animosity.
Which type of collusion is worse–words (documents that reveal actual truths about a candidate for the presidency) or actions (which are subversive of our democracy and damaging to a cohesive society)?
For what it’s worth, the U.S. activists claim that they were “tricked” into working with foreigners (despite rampant speculation that somebody was funding these astroturfed protests):
Russia’s most infamous troll farm recruited US activists to help stage protests and organize self-defense classes in black communities as part of an effort to sow divisions in US society ahead of the 2016 election and well into 2017.
Four people contacted by what is believed to be the “American Department” of the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency told BuzzFeed News that while they found their contacts strange, they never suspected that they were the target of foreign recruitment. …
One target was Micah White, a cofounder of Occupy Wall Street. When he was contacted in May 2016 by a man named Yan Big Davis, who presented himself as a freelance reporter, he didn’t think anything of it, since he often gave interviews about activism.
Note that just that single website had 200,000 followers. That’s only one website. How many other Americans were “tricked” into participating in this Russian scheme to ramp up racial hatred and anti-police animus over the past few years?
The mainstream media seemed very quick to try to explain how these activists were “tricked” by the Russians. “No collusion to see here, folks. Move on.”
The mainstream media didn’t, however, give the same benefit of the doubt to the Trump campaign.
Is it beyond the realm of possibility that the Russians also targeted the Trump campaign–probably both campaigns–in order to trick U.S. citizens into helping them sow chaos and division within our society, to the detriment of all of us?
Or perhaps the collusion was really on the other side. Did the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration collude with Russians (via Fusion GPS activities, e.g.) to create the false meme that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians? Did the collusion involve the mainstream media, as well?
Odd how, in some minds, certain “collusion” is akin to treason while other collusion is simply good politics or the result of being “tricked.”
Now comes news that Facebook will create by the end of this year a tool that will allow users to check to see exactly how they may themselves have been “tricked” by “fake news” out of Russia. The tool will allow users to verify whether they liked or shared information allegedly sourced to the allegedly Russian troll farm, the Internet Resource Agency. It will be quite interesting to see if they include the troll activity focused specifically upon stirring up racial animosity among blacks against whites and the police.
Would that Facebook would also provide users with a similar tool to let them check to see if they ever viewed, shared, or liked the many fake news stories coming from the mainstream media, especially those associated with Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign, the Deep State and/or the Obama Shadow Government.
The Facebook tool is being created in response to a special request by Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal, according to the Wall Street Journal:
Sen. Blumenthal requested Facebook reach all users who came across any content from the Internet Research Agency and tell them “exactly what content they saw so they can understand and evaluate what they may see in the future,” according to a letter he sent to the company.
We the People are stupid, you see. Democrats like Blumenthal believe that we’re unable to determine for ourselves whether something is true or false. It disturbs them when foreigners tell us the truth about something (like what the stolen Democrat emails revealed) when they would prefer to keep us in the dark by colluding with the mainstream media.
Just because an item of information came from a foreign source doesn’t make it untrue or “fake,” although the Democrats would like us to think so if the truth is damaging to them.
We haven’t heard a lot from BLM and other alt-left protestors since it was revealed that some black and alt-left activists worked with Russians to organize “direct action.” Why is that?
Recently the alt-left seem more interested in playing the sex card (harassment/abuse) instead of the race card against their political enemies. They must believe that it’s better to lay low for a while, until people forget who’s helping organize and sometimes even funding their “peaceful protests.”
Certainly the Russians are not our besties. As usual, the Russians are trying to damage the United States–our way of life and especially our system of government–by any means necessary.
As dangerous, if not more dangerous, are U.S. citizens who either willingly or, if you believe them, unwillingly, collude with our enemies to promote their own political power within this country.
But don’t misunderstand: That statement most definitely does not apply to President Trump.
May God be on the President’s side as he works to drain the DC swamp and
make America great again.