- Are you a good troll or a bad troll when you end up trolling yourself?
Those unfamiliar with Reddit might not know about AMAs. AMA or Ask Me Anything thread events are a staple of Reddit. Experts, scientists, celebrities, and a multitude of others step in to let users ask questions. Russian trolls indicted in the Mueller investigation – Internet Research Agency – decided to run their own AMA to control narrative and spread yet more false information.
Except no one showed up.
In Oct. of 2017 they sent The Daily Beast an email asking for questions for their AMA, citing forms on blackmattersus.com and donotshoot.us – their fake black-rights websites. Russian Troll groups have been posting as liberal–leaning groups in order to foster misinformation and division in America’s online culture and community.
The Daily beast sent 13 questions and asked for a reply. When no reply ever came everything seemed to just disappear. No AMA seemed to happen, no announcement was made, no one was contacted, and so the matter was dropped.
Last month, blogger Jeremy Massler stumbled across the AMA.
The Russian trolls held their AMA after all, but no one noticed. The trolls held their even on Christmas morning. 14 questions were asked, the answers mostly being poorly made memes or clip art. Some of the questions asked were actually from list of questions The Daily Beast themselves submitted. The Russian Trolls farmed the media for content and to control the questions asked.
Six of the eight Reddit account that asked questions are deleted when Reddit purged over 1,000 IRA accounts the following Spring. Which means 2 accounts asked questions. So let’s amend our previous statement that no one showed up. 2 people showed up.
A failed attempt to further an agenda or an equally failed attempt at humor? Either way, it was just one big epic fail. Then comes spring and the Russian Trolls accounts are exposed for what they were and mostly deleted from Reddit. However, the damage they caused may be irreversible. This is, unless internet users on the whole can learn to investigate information. We all need to learn to determine truth from elaborate fiction.