Russian Sock Puppet Crew Tried to Frame Texas Gov Over Biden Blackmail
A fake tweet from Texas Governor Greg Abbott about Ukrainian politicians blackmailing the Biden family. A gang rape of a Ukrainian woman was carried out by Polish nationalists. A bogus conspiracy theory about the President of Ukraine secretly allowing Polish troops to occupy and control Ukrainian territories under the guise of defending the territory from Russia.
As American spies warned about the possibility Fake video produced by Russia and provocative propaganda to justify a new invasion of Ukraine in the coming weeks, the world need not look far to see what a provocative and disinformation campaign against Ukraine would look like. These stories, Posted in the past few years, is an example of how that kind of campaign is happening right now.
Since 2014, Secondary emotionsa group of disinformation attributed to Russia by cybersecurity officials in Facebook and Reddit, has littered the internet with fake government documents and forged screenshots of non-existent social media posts. Despite the corporation’s long pedigree and deep content catalog, the group’s counterfeits and imitations have largely fail to move public opinion or engage organically on social media. However, the content provides a glimpse of how Moscow has trying to sabotage Ukraine’s pro-Western government with provocations similar to those expected by US intelligence today.
A review of Ukrainian social media posts over the past year by The Daily Beast found 21 examples of fake stories planted by accounts using Secondary Infektion’s Playbook.
An account, using fake social media posts about Polish nationalists raping a Ukrainian woman as part of a initiation rite, was posted on November 8, 2018. 2021, by a fake “patriotic” Facebook page in Ukraine. Meta officials removed the page and attributed it to Secondary Infektion after The Daily Beast shared its findings with the company.
Separately, Reddit suspended six accounts last week after The Daily Beast identified them as possibly secondary Infektion bullshit puppets. Reddit has suspended the accounts for violating the company’s terms of service for banning “manipulated content,” although company officials were unable to attribute those accounts to any specific entity. any. The company has also suspended seven more accounts, which has fueled Secondary Infektion-like scams about Ukraine over the past year.
Various other fake characters posted to Ukrainian open forums, social media and news websites use behaviors similar to Second Infektion trolls, but The Daily Beast cannot officially attribute them to them. This group.
Taken together, the articles aim at similar goals: to paint Ukraine as an undeservedly corrupt country ruled by an extreme right-wing movement, to divide and isolate Kyiv from its allies. as important as Poland and Germany, as well as against domestic nationalists against minorities.
The US, Ukraine’s most important ally, featured in several posts that resembled a secondary Infektion. An article, published early in the Biden administration, sought to convince readers that Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky unable to forge a relationship with Washington because Zelensky’s political opponents smeared President Biden’s son Hunter and his business dealings in Ukraine. As evidence, the trolls included a fake screenshot of a tweet from Texas Governor Greg Abbott showing Biden embracing former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko – Zelensky’s political rival – warning about he would “wander to a Third World country”.
Governor Abbott’s Twitter account shows no record of ever publishing such a tweet, and a spokesperson confirmed in an email that the post was fake.
The accounts that posted the fake Abbott story used what has become a popular book for secondary Infektion trolls. The trolls created an account with the stolen avatar on the same day that they shared a post containing some kind of fake. They post a story once on open forums, blogs and social media and never engage or show activity on those accounts again. While Reddit remains popular with The Secondary Infektion trolls in several languages, trolls tend to stick to a number of different bases of elimination depending on the audience and language used.
In Ukraine, The Secondary Infektion attempted to pit Ukrainian and Polish nationalists against each other in order to isolate Kyiv from an increasingly important military and diplomatic ally. In articles posted in both Russian and Ukrainian in November 2021, Secondary Infektion trolls shared links to a Facebook post with a fake story that members of the Radical Camp Poland’s far-right nation raped and murdered a 51-year-old Ukrainian woman as part of an initiation ceremony for new group members.
The post was published by a Facebook page created in 2018 with the aim of being a patriotic Ukrainian, a pro-military group dedicated to paying “respect for the defenders of Ukraine”. This group, which lives in Indonesia, according to a transparency recommendation on the page, posted only sporadic patriotic content for years until the character removal in November with a screenshot of a message. Text that purports to relay the rape story.
Meta officials promptly suspended the site after The Daily Beast brought it to their attention, and cybersecurity officials at the company assessed with moderate confidence that the site was relevant. Secondary Infektion, according to a spokesperson for Meta.
In not trying to exaggerate the relationship between Ukraine and specific countries, sock puppets using tactics like the Secondary Fool have also attempted to use LGBT rights as a key issue to discredit its prestige in the eyes of the West. An October 2021 post forged a letter from a Ukrainian gay rights group, the LGBT LiGa Association, opposing a proposed tax on childlessness as discriminatory. with same-sex couples who cannot legally adopt or marry in Ukraine.
In one statement published for FacebookLiGa officials confirmed that the story “this letter was printed on letterhead that did not belong to LiGa and contained incorrect contact details of our organization and a forged logo,” complete with signatures. from the group’s president, Oleg Alyokhin.
As Russia has conducted an almost unprecedented maneuver of troops and weapons along the Ukrainian border over the past three months, scammers like Secondary Infektion have slowly turned their attention to brewing crisis with stories aimed at undermining Kyiv’s response.
A post, published on Reddit and Ukrainian blogs in early February, shared a fake leaked map purporting to show the “buffer zone” occupied by the Polish army in a deal. secretly with the Zelensky government for defense against Russia. The fake story, which warns that “large-scale territory will be separated from Ukraine for many years”, appears to be an attempt to try to thwart growing military cooperation between the countries as relations between the two countries continue to grow. The threat from Russia is increasing day by day.
Relations with Germany, which proved fraught with the Ukrainian government’s request for weapons as Russia’s border-building activity continued, have also been the frequent target of articles using his methodology. Secondary Information.
In an ironic twist, a post published last week filmed a fake story leaked by a fictitious inside the Ukrainian government that leaked details of a troll factory run by US, UK intelligence. and Ukraine spread anti-German memes on social media to discredit Berlin rather than enthusiastically support Ukraine amid threats of renewed Russian aggression.
It remains unclear whether Russia plans to invade Ukraine or use a fake video as US intelligence has warned. But Secondary Infektion’s inability to attract various fakes and spoofs suggests that if Moscow continues with a propaganda game, it will be like facing a skeptical audience. sanity to Russia-themed provocation.