Russian Troll Farm Ran Twitter Account Posting In Tennessee GOP’s Name

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Sipa USA

A Twitter account that posted under the Tennessee Republican Party’s name was actually run by the St. Petersburg-based Russian troll farm that purchased ads on Facebook and recruited as many as 100 unwitting activists in the United States, according to a new Russian report.

Russian business magazine RBC reported Tuesday that @TEN_GOP was created by the Federal News Agency (FAN), the troll farm formerly known as the Internet Research Agency.

Twitter deactivated @TEN_GOP’s account in August, though a snapshot of the page from that month remains visible via the Internet Archive.

@TEN_GOP had at least 143,552 followers when it was shut down, more than 10 times the number of people following the Tennessee Republican Party’s actual Twitter account (13,369), according to that snapshot.

The Tennessee Republican Party’s communications director Candice Dawkins told BuzzFeed News that the party reported the fake account to Twitter in Sept. 2016, 11 months before Twitter finally took action.

As ThinkProgress noted in a report Wednesday, President Donald Trump personally thanked an account that claimed to be associated with @TEN_GOP in September for tweeting “We love you, Mr. President!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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