Hoping to lure Russian trolls into an online trap, Rachel Maddow announced that she is setting up a fake secession movement, saying that any whiff of American unrest is likely to attract Moscow-based support.
“Let’s create a fake a secessionist movement in the United States on the theory that Russia will support secession of anyone in the West for any reason just because they’d really love for the West to break apart,” Maddow said on Wednesday night.
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) September 28, 2017
We know they’ve already supported Texas seceding, and California seceding. … Let’s make up a new one and see if we can get Russian support. First idea I had for this today is that we’d set up a movement called ‘NOHIO’. See if they bite on that. And then somebody else on the staff came up with … ‘TENNESSEEYA’ because maybe they’d like a southern one. … We tried on a few different ideas. We’ve now come down to four finalists and you can vote at MaddowBlog.com or on Twitter. Vote for which fake secessionist movement we should create online to see if it attracts Russian support.
Maddow’s tongue-in-cheek trick on the Russians comes after multiples reports indicate that Russia’s online presence during the 2016 election was even deeper than previously thought.
While the overall goal of Russia in last year’s campaign was to help elect Donald Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton, it’s clear they also were bent on dividing Americans in any way they possibly could – which in its own way would benefit the then-GOP nominee, who was also playing on Americans’ fears.
Reporting just today indicated that Russian trolls even “impersonated real American Muslims to stir chaos on Facebook and Instagram.” They also purchased Black Lives Matter ads on Facebook, targeting people in Baltimore and Ferguson.
As Maddow pointed out, it’s all about creating unrest and fear among the American people.
By setting up a trap for Russia, not only is Rachel Maddow creating something that could bring America together, but she’s pulling a page from their playbook in order to do it.
And what better way to get even with the Russians than beating them at their own game and catching them in the act?
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.