[Ed. – It’s so confusing, because we keep hearing that the Russian trolls promoted left-wing causes and activism. If this was an attempt to discourage the electorate about Hillary, the premise behind it really needs some parsing. Note: the Russian online magazine RBC is the one that was owned by the Clinton-linked Russian oligarch at the time it published its first expose of the “2016 election trolls.”]
Russia’s most infamous troll farm recruited US activists to help stage protests and organize self-defense classes in black communities as part of an effort to sow divisions in US society ahead of the 2016 election and well into 2017.
Four people contacted by what is believed to be the “American Department” of the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency told BuzzFeed News that while they found their contacts strange, they never suspected that they were the target of foreign recruitment. …
One target was Micah White, a cofounder of Occupy Wall Street. When he was contacted in May 2016 by a man named Yan Big Davis, who presented himself as a freelance reporter, he didn’t think anything of it, since he often gave interviews about activism.
According to emails seen by BuzzFeed News, Davis said he was writing for a site called BlackMattersUS, which had over 200,000 followers and focused “mostly on racism and police brutality themes.” In its report, based on interviews with current and former employees of the troll farm as well as a source close to its leadership and internal documents, RBC found that BlackMattersUS was linked to the Internet Research Agency.