Russia-linked Twitter accounts have been spreading videos of confrontations between white people and minorities to stoke racial tensions in America, according to Clemson University researchers. (1/6) https://nbcnews.to/2yMqvRl
The accounts frame the content as explicit discrimination, use emotionally-loaded language, and give calls to action, including encouraging people to publish the participants’ personal information — a strategy known as “doxxing.” (2/6)
Some common patterns followed by these Russian-linked Twitter accounts included giving the objects of the outrage alliterative nicknames, like “Taco Truck Tammy” or “Basketball Becky,” or giving a call to action, like “Twitter, do your thing.” (3/6) https://nbcnews.to/2yMqvRl
Disinformation experts say that the goal of the inauthentic accounts is to highlight and inflame existing tensions to destabilize America, a strategy also used by Russia’s disinformation campaign leading up to the 2016 election. (4/6)
“It’s clear in several examples that some of these stories would never have gone viral without the influence of Russian disinformation,” Darren Linvill, an associate professor of communications at Clemson University, says. (5/6)
Twitter has removed some accounts analyzed by the researchers, but these instances are still happening. A Twitter spokesperson says the company is fully committed to “protect conversation around the 2020 elections and beyond.” (6/6) #NBCNewsThreads https://nbcnews.to/2yMqvRl
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