Thou Shalt Not Horn in on thy Neighbor’s Racket

In case you haven’t heard, the Russian news outlet RBK has published an extensive report on the so called “St. Petersburg troll factory,” and in particular its English language department. Among the new revelations is information about how the so-called “Internet Research Agency” reached out to around 100 US-based activists to help carry out their propaganda. We do not know much about these activists, save for a few who came forward to Buzzfeed. According to that article, local American activists were contacted by people who had “African-sounding” accents and did not reveal any connection to Russia. As such, it appears as though they were unaware of any manipulation.

Obviously this is a major coup, since it would be one of the first concrete examples we have of Russian agents (not necessarily connected to the intel services, of course) manipulating American activists to unwittingly help in propaganda operations (at least these few we know about were unwitting). You think every info-warrior in the States would be jumping up and down with glee, but no. It looks like their self-appointed leader is upset.



Upset much?

It’s pretty easy to see what happened here. Molly McKew is building a career off her supposed information war expertise, and yet at the same time she has provided virtually zero insight and sells a fairy tale about a supposed Russian hybrid warfare doctrine which doesn’t exist (and thus could lull decision-makers into thinking they know the Kremlin’s plans when they don’t). Now along comes this Russian outlet which sheds far more light on the project and also reveals how haphazard and weak it is.

It’s just like those comic book nerds who feel threatened when they encounter female comic book nerds, especially those who display more knowledge about their favorite franchises.


8 thoughts on “Thou Shalt Not Horn in on thy Neighbor’s Racket

  1. Matt

    Molly seems to be mentally unhinged. The troll factory was hacked by Shaltai Boltai back in 2014 and its internal communications leaked. Further, a local media outlet in St. Petersburg, or something, got documents from a former employee. RBK also reported on the troll factory back in April, when they first exposed the viral “Secure Borders” and “Tea Party News” accounts.

    More info from me here:

  2. gbd_crwx

    I just realised how old I am when I saw the acronym IRA and though, why would the Irish be involved in a Russian intelligence operation?

  3. mariinskyrose

    Jim, i know you left before all the preparations were completed, but I wanted to know what your thoughts were on Russia hosting the World Cup and its implications…a bit different from Sochi Olympics, as more than one city is involved. But judging from this website: – its as if the country’s elites are banking on the games to save the country: by uniting the country to rally around a single purpose, improve infrastructure and dissuading intra-ethnic and territorial fragmentation. Would love your take.


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