The Daily Beast has a well-researched article examining the mysterious Jenna Abrams, a minor right-wing “celebrity” in the United States who came to online prominence during the 2015-16 presidential campaign by Donald Trump. The Twitter and Facebook user presented herself as an ordinary, stay-at-home mom disgusted at the rise of “political correctness” and the supposed liberal dominance of the mainstream media in the US. However, her commentary on news and politics was mixed with a preponderance of tweets and posts devoted to pop-culture phenomena. It was these latter subjects, often humorous or satirical in nature, which initially drew the attention of other internet users. While people followed her for the snarky one-liners about Kim Kardashian, they also received intermittent criticism of “far left” causes, some of which went viral among her growing fanbase (some 70,000 Twitter followers at her height).
Eventually, web-savvy journalists began to feature Abrams’ provocative tweets or observations in their articles, creating an astonishingly diverse list of global references, including: Bustle, US News and World Report, USA Today, Fox News affiliates, InfoWars, BET, Yahoo Sports, Sky News, IJR, Breitbart, The Washington Post, Mashable, New York Daily News, Quartz, Dallas News, France24, HuffPost, The Daily Caller, The Telegraph, CNN, the BBC, Gizmodo, The Independent, The Daily Dot, The Observer, Business Insider, The National Post, Refinery29, The Times of India, BuzzFeed, The Daily Mail, The New York Times, Russia Today and Sputnik.
Unfortunately, it turns out that there was one serious problem with all this fame and adulation for the popular Twitterer. Jenna Abrams never existed. In fact, she was the layered creation of the Internet Research Agency, the Russian Federation’s state-funded “troll farm” in St. Petersburg. One or more employees worked behind her social network accounts prosecuting a careful, low–profile campaign to influence the election for the White House. A campaign so meticulously conducted that even prominent individuals who interacted with the sock-puppet persona, from the actress Roseanne Barr to the former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, were convinced of her ultra-conservative authenticity.
The full Daily Beast post is well worth reading.
Rather closer to home, it also makes you wonder why dozens – perhaps hundreds – of individuals are expending so much time and energy desperately attempting to revive a dormant insurgency to destroy the British legacy colony on our island nation, when the battlefield has clearly moved on to other terrain. Hearts and minds will liberate the north-east, not blood and guts.