Suspected Russian Actors Leverage Alternative Tech Platforms in Continued Effort to Covertly Influence Right-Wing U.S. Audiences
Suspected Russian actors have leveraged alternative social media platforms to target right-wing U.S. audiences with divisive political narratives to a greater extent than previously known. This report describes ongoing activity by a set of 35 newly-discovered and previously-attributed inauthentic accounts on Gab, Gettr, Parler, and Truth Social, building on previous foreign influence operations (IO) likely conducted by the same actors since at least 2020. The content and behaviors closely mirror those of earlier operations. The actors created a network of fake personas on platforms popular with right-wing communities, which act in a coordinated manner to spread political messages. These include narratives common within these communities, such as allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and 2022 midterms, as well as attempts to undermine public support for Ukraine in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Based on the technical, behavioral, and content indicators detailed in this report, we assess with high confidence that this activity is linked to the actors behind the Newsroom for American and European Based Citizens (NAEBC), a fake right-wing news outlet that targeted U.S. audiences ahead of the 2020 presidential election. NAEBC has been attributed by Meta to individuals associated with past activity of Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), an assessment reportedly shared by U.S. law enforcement.