Russian scammers spreading far-right conspiracy theories online have managed to trick Donald Trump Jr. think a fake post by Kid Rock is authentic.
In one of many attempts to interfere in the US election, Russian scammers created an account pretending to be MAGA musicians. A post from the account “KidRockOfficial” selling conspiracy theories about Ivermectin, a bogus Covid drug, and an oil supply caught the attention of the former president’s son.
Donald Trump Jr., who is said to be a friend of Kid Rock in real life, took a screenshot of the post from Gettr, then posted it. Instagram with the caption “yup.”
The post is just a small part of a broader trend in which bad actors are exploiting social media apps like Gab, Gettr and Truth Social, the platform created by former President Donald Trump. “free for all” policies to their advantage.
Scammers have impersonated various conservative Americans, cross-posted on different platforms, and are believed to have spread pro-Russian propaganda, disinformation that has been prevalent among far-right groups, as well as conspiracy theories about Ukraine and the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.
New report linking accounts with Russia
These findings come from a new report by social media tracking company Graphika and Stanford University’s Internet Observatory, tracked a set of 35 accounts to the Newsroom for European American Citizens (NAEBC) — a fake outlet are linked to Russian scammers. Between them, the accounts have accumulated about 33,000 unique followers on the social networks Truth, Gab and Gettr.
Researchers have found that “KidRockOfficial” is identical to another account on Gab, which was flagged by the FBI in 2020 as being run by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm. . It simply reappears with the same handle on a different platform.
This is not the first time posts on right-wing platforms have been linked back to Russian trolls; however, this is the first time such accounts have been identified on Truth Social.
“Due to a lack of clear enforcement, actors have established a level of persistence that is not available on most mainstream platforms and are able to conduct their operations with relative ease,” the report said. written report.
Gab founder Andrew Torba said in a statement that if the platform has been notified of such activity by law enforcement, “we will investigate and take action.”
Gettr’s CEO also said in a statement that the company “takes a strong and proactive approach to censorship, and deleted all Russia Today accounts earlier this year for violations.” [its] Terms of Service. Our platform is always compliant with local law enforcement and has been repeatedly praised by third parties for its approach to moderation, such as Bot Sentinel CEO Cristopher Bouzy. ”
Truth Social, Kid Rock and Donald Trump Jr. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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