For the past six years, an obscure disinformation campaign by Russian operatives has flooded the Internet with false stories in seven languages and across 300 social media platforms virtually undetected, according to new report published on Tuesday by social media researchers.
The operation, named “Secondary Infektion” by researchers, has sought to spread pro-Russian propaganda around the globe by sharing fake tweets from U.S. elected officials and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. And it attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Researchers say it will likely try to spread falsehoods tied to the November election, too.
“We don’t know whether it was run by the government, or associated with the government, or a group who wanted to support the government,” Nimmo said. “But the overall tone and context makes it clear that this was an operation which was trying to support the Russian government and attack and undermine its critics.”