In the past couple of weeks we have been bombarded with some inconvenient truths – the Republican Party meddled with foreign powers to dig up dirt on the Democratic candidates, the Democratic National Committee is going through an identity crisis, and Russia has been trolling us with millions of dollars worth of advertising to sway our opinions to ultimately glorify – and eventually elect – Donald Trump.
One of these Russian trolls has duped the mainstream media for several years.
Jenna Abrams is a Twitter user that has weaseled her way onto BuzzFeed, The New York Times, and other authorities in mainstream media that have quoted her tweets. In April 2016, @Jenn_Abrams tweeted that the Confederate flag wasn’t about slavery but was about “money.” It went viral, with far-right identities crawling out of their swamps to defend her as she was ridiculed by historians, celebrities, and anyone who has a grasp on the realities of the Civil War. Going viral, enticing anger and reactions, and pandering to the far right was the plan all along.
@Jenn_Abrams Isn’t Even Real
Congressional investigators have noted that several Russian-backed troll factories have interjected on social media, and @Jenn_Abrams was one of those troll accounts. It was created by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian institution in St. Petersburg funded by the government. Jenna Abrams, the identity that many of us thought that was a real American blogger who had a penchant to reel against PC culture and was a supporter of segregation, was not even real to begin with.
Abrams’ account goes to show you how effective these online trolls can be. Even though she wasn’t real, her opinions were posted all over the Internet, and she was also able to amass nearly 70,000 Twitter followers before her account was shuttered.
The creation and growth of Abrams was strategic. Stretching all the way back to 2014, the account positioned itself as a straight shooter who injected their opinions with anything that was going viral. Over time, her influence grew, and she “decided” to push anti-immigrant rhetoric – just as Donald Trump gained traction during the primaries and the election.
Abrams’ effect is long reaching. She had caused many historians to angrily respond to her when she kept pushing her revisionist version of American slavery and the Civil War, pushing the rhetoric that it was about money. It was recently echoed this past week by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, when he said that the Civil War was because of a “lack of an ability to compromise.” Which is easy to say when your ancestors weren’t deemed crude currency and not fully human.
You may or may not think that these Russian trolls were effective. The truth of the matter is, is that Donald Trump’s president, race relations are down the drain, and there isn’t any real leadership stepping forward.
Featured image via gallery