The full report by the Stanford Internet Observatory on the take down of the Rally Forge / Turning Point USA domestic troll farm operation is very illuminating and clearly domestic actors are now copying Russian IRA style tactics #infoOps #disinfo #osint https://twitter.com/SlickRockWeb/status/1314302211380387854
One jaw-dropping section was the discovery that a fake political persona was created & running in Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District. The operation wasn't fully formed and didn't realize much traction. Stanford suggested a number of possible motives. #infoOps #disinfo #osint
Given the political connections Rally Forge has, this was not done as some kind of Borat style joke. It was likely a dry-run test. Keep in mind political candidates, no matter how small have a possible path to blue checkmarked verification status on Twitter for example.
The creation of a fake write-in campaign adds another possible corrosive effect to an election. Not saying it has successfully happened before but it certainly seems like something an unscrupulous troll farm, whether domestic or Kremlin-backed, would try to exploit.
This can of course also be used to boost & exploit the very real perpetual & ususally insignificant candidates that run every election, for whatever reason, and garner a few hundred or thousand votes each time. They also can run political ads on Facebook on any topic. #disinfo
And of course creating far-left content & fake personas 2 build up & use 2 stir the pot, make outrageous incendiary statements and exploit divisions within the Democratic party. These examples by Rally Forge were not fully formed, but clearly another Russian style tactic #disinfo
The Stanford report also looked at some of the twitter accounts of the fake personas that Rally Forge created, most now suspended, & interestingly a lot of the focus was on pretending to be far-left pro-Bernie Democratic Socialist accounts. Again another known Russian tactic
The now suspended @RaulJimenez2020 account is one good example of a Rally Forge sock puppet. Pretending to be a Red Rose #DSA account to attack Democrats from the far left. Recent reports by @Graphika_NYC have highlighted foreign accounts doing the same thing. #disinfo #infoOps
Interestingly most of the suspended twitter accounts that Rally Forge created for TPUSA, 25 that we could find, showed fake personas from Michigan or Wisconsin. Here is another fake Red Rose, far-left #DSA account. #infoOps #osint #disnfo
And of course one of the most successful astroturf campaigns that TPUSA created a few years back, the #walkaway campaign. Where hundreds of fake accounts pretended that they were fed-up Democrats and were leaving the democrat party to join the Republican party. #ifnoOps #disinfo
Here are two fun examples of the #walkaway astroturf campaign from July 2018 that got quickly called out for obvious reasons. If you have ever seen any TPUSA memes you will recognize the obvious format #disinfo #infoOps
Realized I didn't have a direct link to the Stanford report. On this page there is a download link to the full 37 page PDF. Highly recommend you read it if you have a chance. https://cyber.fsi.stanford.edu/news/oct-2020-fb-ralley-forge
Analysis of an October 2020 Facebook Takedown Linked to U.S.
An astroturfing operation involving fake accounts (some with AI-generated images) that left thousands of comments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Clients included Turning Point Action andhttps://cyber.fsi.stanford.edu/news/oct-2020-fb-ralley-forge