France has opened a probe into Russian “interference” in the anti-government Yellow Vest protests, with Russian media and “Russia-linked” social media accounts targeted for the grave crime of actually reporting on the crisis.
Hundreds of social media accounts supposedly linked to Russia have “sought to amplify” the still-raging French street protests, according to an “analysis” seen by the Times of London.
The source? Ryan Fox, a former NSA employee and the co-owner of an American cyber-security firm which “monitors disinformation” online and has a history of dubiously promoting nefarious Russian ‘meddling’ as a panacea for all Western ills.
Look at what Putin tricked this woman into believing: https://t.co/5dGOXSaCMm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 10, 2018
The “network” of social media accounts in question has purportedly circulated posts which “focus on the violence and chaos” of the Gilet Jaunes (Yellow Vest) protests, churning out approximately 1,600 tweets and retweets a day. No word yet about how many non-Russia-related Twitter accounts are also tweeting and retweeting about the protests. Although, perhaps it’s only Russians who are restricted from sharing information about the French civil unrest.
According to the Alliance for Securing Democracy — a unit of the US State Department-funded German Marshall Fund — about 600 Twitter accounts which have previously promoted “Kremlin views” have begun focusing their attention on France in recent weeks. While the accounts usually focus on US or British news, the anti-government protests in France “have been at or near the top” of their activity in the last week. “That’s a pretty strong indication that there is interest in amplifying the conflict,” Bret Schafer, a DC-based social media analyst for the think tank told Bloomberg.'
Read more: Russian media covered the Yellow Vest protests; now France is investigating Russian ‘interference’