Twitter Ignored This Russia-Controlled Account During The Election. Team Trump Did Not. - 2017-11-01
WASHINGTON ― For almost two years, @TEN_GOP masqueraded as the "Unofficial Twitter account of Tennessee Republicans," but in truth it was part of a Kremlin-directed influence operation. Its contents were the stuff of far-right fever dreams. The account hyped Donald Trump and savaged Hillary Clinton while serving up a slurry of racism, Islamophobia and "fake news" to its 136,000 followers. @TEN_GOP attacked mainstream media outlets, demonized anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter activists and insisted Russian meddling in the election was a conspiracy theory.
@TEN_GOP also actively promoted the Trump presidential campaign and was retweeted several times by figures such as Donald Trump Jr. and Sebastian Gorka ― the first evidence that Trump campaign staffers, wittingly or not, assisted Russia's online active measures. The account was even more popular among far-right American propagandists such as Jack Posobiec and Mike Cernovich, both of whom frequently retweeted @TEN_GOP and were in turn retweeted heavily by the account.
Two weeks ago, a Russian news outlet revealed that @TEN_GOP was part of the Internet Research Agency, a troll farm in St. Petersburg that runs online influence operations for the Russian government. The Daily Beast later confirmed the connection. @TEN_GOP operated from Nov. 19, 2015, to Aug. 23 of this year, when Twitter finally shut it down, having ignored multiple previous requests from the actual Tennessee Republican Party to suspend the account.