yellow butterfly sitting on yellow flowers

Field Report: Inspirational Thoughts From Russian Twitter Bots

Enjoy this lovely inspirational photo of a butterfly supping on a flower and I will tell you how Russian agent accounts regularly target inspirational and motivational discussions on social media.

Why would Russian campaigns include benign hashtags like these? It is an outreach tool – chat up new social media users in friendly conversation topics, get the follows then let the influence campaigns begin!

We saw this behavior in their infiltration of Bernie supporting Facebook groups. When they first joined they were friendly and motivational then their tone turned. Their tactics in the Bernie Sanders Facebook groups in 2016 were a classic example of this gremlin fed after midnight tactic.

 

This report is based on activities of Russian agent accounts tracked by Hamilton68 on Twitter. 

Even if you do not use Twitter it is important to know and understand the tactics deployed there  as the thought and talking point campaigns there often make their way to other sites as well as to offline conversations.

Hamilton68 is a dashboard tracking the activity of Putin’s agent accounts on Twitter in near real-time. It is a tool created by a bipartisan, transatlantic team in order to “shine a bright light” on Putin’s active measures against democratic nations on social media.  

 

butterfly photo: Pexels