Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Russian troll on Coub?

I was reviewing all the Russian troll accounts from Reddit, and noticed a couple of them shared videos from 

Coub is a video mash-up site.  It's like a cross between Instagram and Vine, mixed with the humor of YTMND.  The Reddit trolls only shared videos from one Coub account:  "PoliGraph."  You can see PoliGraph's videos at this URL:

There are a few reasons why I think PoliGraph was controlled by a Russian troll.  First, PoliGraphs's videos align with themes pushed by the Russian trolls on other social media platforms:  They're anti-Hillary; they highlight police brutality in the U.S.; they mock the U.S. for its obsession with guns, etc....  Second, one of the Internet Research Agency's accounts on Twitter was named @poligraphme, which matches the URL of PoliGraph's Coub page.

PoliGraph posted 1,002 videos on Coub.  The earliest was dated September 7, 2015, and the last was dated July 14, 2016.  The videos have received 3,339,508 combined views (so far).

Coub began as a Russian start-up.  There was an article in The Verge in 2014 which said the company had just opened an office in New York, but I don't know how popular the site is in the U.S.  It wouldn't surprise me if there were numerous accounts on Coub being run by Russian trolls, but so far I've only "discovered" PoliGraph.

Here was PoliGraph's most popular video.  It received 361,904 views:

Here are the four videos that were cross-posted to Reddit:

Here's a typical anti-police video:

And here's a video that defies commentary.  It combines politics, Star Wars, and Gangnam Style:

No comments: