Russian trolls and bots reactivated ‘like sleeper cells’ to target Democrats: Report

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Russian trolls and bots reactivated ‘like sleeper cells’ to target Democrats: Report

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A report was published Sunday warning that Russian trolls and bots are back — and they are targeting Democrats.

Social media research companies have detected these resurgent Russian campaigns, using accounts made to appear like they are run by disaffected Americans, on smaller platforms such as Gab, Parler, and Gettr, according to the New York Times. The scope of the effort appears to be smaller than in 2016, but the report stressed, citing researchers, they are “no less pernicious.”

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This network of accounts began to reactivate in August and September, “called to action like sleeper cells,” the report noted. Democrats, including President Joe Biden, are largely the ones who are disparaged in posts from these accounts. The report said posts have specifically zeroed in on tight races, including Senate contests in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.

The report, which was published just two days before Election Day, added that the posts also complain about U.S. support given to Ukraine as the country continues to fight against a Russian invasion, aim to gin up conservative anger, and sow doubt in the electoral process.

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The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency sent a bulletin last month warning of foreign actors who spread “false claims and narratives” via “dark web media channels, online journals, messaging applications, spoofed websites, emails, text messages and fake online personas.”

Republicans are favored to win the House, and in recent weeks, their chances of taking control of the Senate have improved. The GOP needs only a net gain of one seat to dominate the upper chamber, which is currently split with a 50-50 tie that is broken by Vice President Kamala Harris.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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