Elon Musk Mocked Ukraine, and Russian Trolls Went Wild


The Antibot4Navalny group displays inauthentic accounts on X, specializing in the Russian language, and it identifies accounts that will not be real by analyzing their habits and the replies they make to media shops. Information gathered by the researchers exhibits the accounts replying each to Musk’s authentic tweet and likewise these from Russian-language information accounts, akin to BBC Russian and DW Russian. The posts are largely in Russian, however there are additionally a number of in English. “Amongst troll replies addressing Musk instantly, some are utilizing memes or different photographs that are generally part of the message,” a Antibot4Navalny consultant says.

“Russia thanks you in your glorious work, Elon. And solutions with memes,” one English language put up says. “As traditional, Musk is our comrade: like us, he ROFLs on the junkie,” a translated Russian put up says. Others reward Musk for telling the “reality” and mocking the Ukrainian president.

One former Twitter disinformation researcher, granted anonymity to permit them to talk freely with out worry of retaliation, checked out a pattern of the accounts highlighted by Antibot4Navalny. “Most accounts had a number of indicators of inauthenticity,” the previous employees member says, mentioning that their evaluation was performed utilizing public-facing knowledge, and solely X would have the ability to make “arduous findings” primarily based on technical knowledge out there to the corporate. The previous employees member says the accounts had repeated habits in reposts and “inconsistent or clearly falsified” private data. “There was a spectrum for the way realistically or nicely chosen an account’s profile pic is,” they are saying, with some profile photographs being pulled from elsewhere on-line.

Martin Innes, codirector of the Safety Crime and Intelligence Innovation Institute at Cardiff College, who has led worldwide disinformation analysis, reviewed a pattern of the information with colleagues. He additionally says there are a number of indicators that the accounts will not be real. “The accounts examined are newly created, in the principle throughout the interval of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and exhibit habits designed to focus on and polarize opinion, and achieve recognition by means of interplay with bigger accounts, lots of which characterize standard media shops,” Innes says.

Innes and the Cardiff College researchers say the accounts typically have low or zero follower numbers, an absence of identifiable private particulars, largely simply reply to different accounts’ posts, and produce anti-Ukraine and anti-Zelensky messaging, which mirror wider Russian narratives. Russia has lengthy used social media to impact politics and divide opinions. In September, an EU report concluded that the “attain and affect” of Kremlin-backed accounts on social media had elevated in 2023, notably highlighting X.

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