More than 70,000 followers looked to Twitter personality Jenna Abrams for her thoughts on a myriad of hot-button topics, from political correctness to segregation to President Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The right-leaning account offered pearls of wisdom, like this nugget from April 2016: “To those people, who hate the Confederate flag. Did you know that the flag and the war wasn’t about slavery, it was all about money.”
Tweeted amid the rise of alt-right-leaning media personalities, including Milo Yiannopoulos and Tomi Lahren, its sounds pretty familiar.
The only difference with Abrams is — she doesn’t exist. She was the creation of the Internet Research Agency, a pro-Kremlin troll farm funded by the Russian government, according to a House of Representatives investigation, cited by The Daily Beast.
Data turned over by Twitter and Facebook helped congressional investigators peg Abrams to the Russian agency — which has been in the headlines lately for leveraging social media sites like Facebook and Twitter before and after the 2016 U.S. election.
Abrams — who operated under the the handle @Jenn_Abrams for three years — quickly became a high-profile rabble rouser on Twitter. Roseanne Barr responded to one of her tweets, calling a mutual enemy a “pro-pedophile.” Russian propaganda expert and former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul routinely got into arguments with her. Ex-White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn retweeted her. And Abrams’ tweets were featured on an array of websites, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Buzzfeed.
Russian agents went the extra yard to make Abrams appear as real as possible. Her Twitter profile included a Gmail account, a Medium blog and a GoFundMe account (perhaps Putin doesn’t pay that well). Abrams didn’t just talk about politics, either, touching on pop culture issues like the Kardashians and, of course, “manspreading.”