Bloomberg: Russian trolls intervened in US elections with the help of American startups
According to the publication, the Internet Research Agency (also known as the Troll Factory) used such services as RoundTeam, Dlvr.it, and IFTTT.
Russian bots used the tools of American startups to intervene in the 2016 US presidential election. This is reported by Bloomberg referring to Twitter's data on October 20.
According to the publication, the Internet Research Agency (also known as the Troll Factory) used such services as RoundTeam, Dlvr.it, and IFTTT. In particular, a San Francisco-based IFTTT startup helps to automatically publish content on several social networks from various applications. Most of the messages distributed by bots contained hyperlinks to third-party resources that were deleted or did not exist.
According to Ben Nimmo, a researcher at Digital Forensic Research Lab, the trolls tried to hide the origin of the published information in this way.
IFTTT representatives said that they would verify the data received from Twitter and try to reduce the possible abuse of its service.
On October 19, the US Department of Justice accused Elena Khusyanova, an accountant at Project Lakhta, of trying to intervene in the midterm congressional elections this year. According to the Ministry of Justice, a resident of St. Petersburg was responsible for buying advertising in social networks, as well as expenses for the work of activists and others in a company that allegedly had an informational influence on the audience in the USA, the European Union, and Ukraine. The accusation of the American authorities emphasizes the connection between Khusyanova and St. Petersburg businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was called by the media as the owner of the ‘Troll Factory’ (he himself denied it), and in the US, several charges have already been brought against him and his staff, including interfering in the presidential elections in 2016.
The Russian embassy in the United States considered the accusations put forward by Washington as promotion of the “flywheel of sanctions” and “slogan diplomacy”.