Russian-linked Twitter accounts are not down with sexual harassment and assault allegations and have been calling out the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, and Matt Lauer on the social media platform. But those same accounts are conspicuously silent on Republican Roy Moore.
As a matter of fact, Alliance's Hamilton 68 - a project that tracks Russian influence operations on Twitter - found that accounts connected to Russian propagandists were not only failing to call out Moore but actually supporting him.
Last week, about 14% of the tweets tracked by the Alliance’s Hamilton 68 project revolved around sexual misconduct. Of those, half defended Moore against the allegations and half attacked Democrats like Franken accused of harassment.
As Mother Jones reported, of the pro-Moore articles shared by these accounts during a week in mid-November, “close to 70% attacked the credibility of the accuser(s), 38% attacked the media in general or the Washington Post in particular, and one story attacked Lindsey Graham for not defending Moore.”
On the day of the Alabama election, Moore received an added boost from the Russian-linked accounts.
And today, Moore’s official account, #VoteForRoyMoore, was the 7th most-shared hashtag by these accounts, an increase of 1,300% in activity over the last 48 hours. And VoteJudgeMoore.com was one of the top domains shared by the accounts.
Alliance analyst Bret Schafer said there was a clear bias among the Russian accounts:
“If it’s an accused Democrat or someone connected to a liberal cause, they’re just going to be attacked,” he tells Fast Company. “But generally speaking, if it’s a figure who’s in the Trump world [who is in the news for sexual harassment], typically it’s just ignored.”