These Americans Were Tricked Into Working For Russia. They Say They Had No Idea.

www.buzzfeed.com

What does it feel like to be duped into organizing a protest by foreign agents? BuzzFeed asks four Americans and finds that they are ... mad.

The thing is, some of these Russian efforts feel extraordinarily clumsy? Read the messages they sent to US activists, some of which are written in a language only barely reminiscent of English, and it can seem impossible that they swayed the election.

BlackMatters, a Russia-backed site designed to inflame racial tensions, sent Occupy Wall Street co-founder Micah Davis a list of interview questions that included these:

"1) Protest today. Does somebody hear protest voices?"

And:

"3) What do you think about #hungerforjustice? Is it ok when people risk their lives for protest and try to make authorities do something?"

Reading these, you can understand why some people are so dismissive of the idea that Russia was a deciding factor in the 2016 election. At the same time, these dumb emails weren't sent in a vacuum — they were part of a large and coordinated effort. Capturing the shape of that as it emerges over time is one of my chief aims in this newsletter.

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