For years now Russia's troll army has been polluting the web with Russian propaganda. This misinformation campaign is huge. Russia has created "troll factories". Even our modest Sciforums has a resident Russian troll. They pretend to be people they are not, and they are NEVER critical of Russia or the Putin. In fact if they write something critical of their employers, they are fined. Controlling Russian state owned media isn't enough. Russia employs brigades of people to pollute the internet with misinformation 24 hours every day. And they react aggressively when Western sources point them out. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/31/world/europe/russia-finland-nato-trolls.html They don't like being exposed. The lurk and thrive in the darkest corners of the web. The best way to fight these deceivers is with the truth. They need to be exposed for who and what they are. Apparently Russian Web warriors are paid significantly more if they can write English. Below is an excerpt describing the experiences of Russian troll factory worker. I suggest you read the complete article. Who would have thought it? Russian troll armies invade the internet. Russia's Web Brigades Just after 9pm each day, a long line of workers files out of 55 Savushkina Street, a modern four-storey office complex with a small sign outside that reads “Business centre”. Having spent 12 hours in the building, the workers are replaced by another large group, who will work through the night. The nondescript building has been identified as the headquarters of Russia’s “troll army”, where hundreds of paid bloggers work round the clock to flood Russian internet forums, social networks and the comments sections of western publications with remarks praising the president, Vladimir Putin, and raging at the depravity and injustice of the west. The Guardian spoke to two former employees of the troll enterprise, one of whom was in a department running fake blogs on the social network LiveJournal, and one who was part of a team that spammed municipal chat forums around Russia with pro-Kremlin posts. Both said they were employed unofficially and paid cash-in-hand. They painted a picture of a work environment that was humourless and draconian, with fines for being a few minutes late or not reaching the required number of posts each day. Trolls worked in rooms of about 20 people, each controlled by three editors, who would check posts and impose fines if they found the words had been cut and pasted, or were ideologically deviant. The LiveJournal blogger, who spent two months working at the centre until mid-March, said she was paid 45,000 roubles (£520, $790) a month, to run a number of accounts on the site. There was no contract - the only document she signed was a non-disclosure form. She was ordered not to tell her friends about the job, nor to add any of them to the social media accounts she would run under pseudonyms. “We had to write ‘ordinary posts’, about making cakes or music tracks we liked, but then every now and then throw in a political post about how the Kiev government is fascist, or that sort of thing,” she said. Scrolling through one of the LiveJournal accounts she ran, the pattern is clear. There are posts about “Europe’s 20 most beautiful castles” and “signs that show you are dating the wrong girl”, interspersed with political posts about Ukraine or suggesting that the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is corrupt. he trolls were firmly instructed that there should never be anything bad written about the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) or the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), and never anything good about the Ukrainian government. “I would go home at the end of the day and see all the same news items on the television news. It was obvious that the decisions were coming from somewhere,” said Marat. Many people have accused Russian television of ramping up propaganda over the past 18 months in its coverage of Ukraine, so much so that the EU even put Dmitry Kiselev, an opinionated television host and director of a major news agency, on its sanctions list. After two months of working in the troll agency, Marat began to feel he was losing his sanity, and decided he had to leave. From the snatched conversations over coffee, he noted that the office was split roughly 50/50 between people who genuinely believed in what they were doing, and those who thought it was stupid but wanted the money. Occasionally, he would notice people changing on the job. “Of course, if every day you are feeding on hate, it eats away at your soul. You start really believing in it. You have to be strong to stay clean when you spend your whole day submerged in dirt,” he said. The most prestigious job in the agency is to be an English-language troll, for which the pay is 65,000 roubles. Last year, the Guardian’s readers’ editor said he believed there was an “orchestrated pro-Kremlin campaign” on the newspaper’s comment boards. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/02/putin-kremlin-inside-russian-troll-house https://www.quora.com/How-much-is-Quora-affected-by-Russian-Web-Brigades https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_brigades http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/08/the-kremlins-troll-army/375932/ Should Russia's troll army have the honesty to identify themselves as such? And how will this state organized and funded operation affect the internet? What are the implications? What if anything should be done about it?