I’d like to think that people are too smart to fall for this crap, but they’re not. And that makes our country far too vulnerable:
As a result of US Senate hearings into possible Russian influence on the election, Twitter recently released a list of accounts banned from the network because of ties to the Internet Research Agency, a St Petersburg-based “troll factory”.
One of the accounts on the list, @CalifroniaRep (the misspelling is deliberate), was a backer of the #Calexit campaign. Trending has seen a partial list of the now-deleted @CalifroniaRep tweets, including dozens which used the #Calexit hashtag. The Twitter account was also linked to other social media accounts advocating the secession of California from the United States.
There are also indications that the election night #Calexit trend – the hashtag was mentioned 100,000 times in the course of a few hours – was artificially driven by automated bots or fake accounts. Several of the most retweeted messages under the hashtag were posted by accounts with just a few hundred followers. And some of those tweets were retweeted thousands of times, an unlikely – though not impossible – occurrence.
Lots more details, go read the rest.