Tumblr Is Our Best Glimpse of How Russian Trolls Work

nymag.com

Brian Feldman says that if you wish to understand Russian trolls, look at how they used Tumblr:

Tumblr also provides our best glimpse of the IRA’s actual practices, what they posted, and how these users inserted themselves into American discourse. That’s because Tumblr’s primary interaction, reblogging, requires users to duplicate another user’s post onto their own profile. User B reblogs User A, and on User B’s blog, User A’s comment remains. In essence, the structure of Tumblr is millions of users copy-pasting each other. If Tumblr were to wipe every instance of Russian activity, it would also “break the reblog chain,” wiping every user interaction that came after an IRA one. Tumblr opted against that, which means that, armed with a list of aliases and the indexing power of Google, you can find plenty of old posts from IRA trolls.
Mostly, it appears, the IRA’s Tumblr strategy was to rip popular Twitter posts and re-upload them to Tumblr.

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