'BatonRougeVoice' one of many Russia-backed Twitter accounts used to deflect Trump bad news during 2016 election

Monday, 13 November 2017, 10:06:31 AM. SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Disguised Russian agents on Twitter rushed to deflect scandalous news about Donald Trump just before last year's presidential election while straining to refocus criticism on the
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Disguised Russian agents on Twitter rushed to deflect scandalous news about Donald Trump just before last year's presidential election while straining to refocus criticism on the mainstream media and Hillary Clinton's campaign, according to an Associated Press analysis of since-deleted accounts. Tweets by Russia-backed accounts such as "America_1st_" and "BatonRougeVoice" on Oct. 7, 2016, actively pivoted away from news of an audio recording in which Trump made crude comments about groping women, and instead touted damaging emails hacked from Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. Since early this year, the extent of Russian intrusion to help Trump and hurt Clinton in the election has been the subject of both congressional scrutiny and a criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. In particular, those investigations are looking into the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. AP's analysis illuminates the obvious strategy behind the Russian cyber meddling: swiftly react, distort and distract attention from any negative Trump news. The AP examined 36,210 tweets from Aug. 31, 2015, to Nov. 10, 2016, posted by 382 of the Russian accounts that Twitter shared with congressional investigators last week. Twitter deactivated the accounts, deleting the tweets and making them inaccessible on the internet. But a limited selection of the accounts' Twitter activity was retrieved by matching account handles against an...Read more
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