Russian trolls out to rig the election for Donald Trump created a fake helpline for struggling LGBTI teens.
The Senate released a report saying Russia engaged in an all-out social media campaign to manipulate votes during the 2016 election.
Millions of posts on every popular social media platform from Facebook to Pinterest were provided to the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
And in these posts, there were some extremely damaging stories.
The Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency created a fake helpline and posted the link on the Russian-controlled page LGBT United.
The post was an offer of support to struggling gay, lesbian or trans teens. However, the hotline was fake.
A hotline was posted on the fake religious group Army of Jesus.
‘Struggling with the addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we will beat it together,’ one post said.
‘You can’t hold hands with God when you are masturbating.’
The Russian-controlled LGBT United led people to believe it was a liberal page, but would then manipulate its members.
Even before Trump was inaugurated, a post attempted to pre-empt calls for impeachment.
On 10 November, a post by LGBT United read: ‘In case anyone forgot, Mike Pence in the White House would mean disaster for queer people!!
‘I heavily disagree with his policies regarding church and state and his lgbtq policy.
‘I see alot of lefist calling for impeachment or assassination on trump but truely Trump is worlds better than Pence when talking about equal rights for all….’
The IRA ‘launched an extended attack on the US by using computational propaganda’, according to the report.
More than 30 million people shared content from the Internet Research Agency on Facebook and Instagram from 2015 to 2017.
Efforts targeting African-Americans, Latinos, liberals and members of the LGBTI community used different approaches with each group, but the overall aim was to get voters ‘to boycott the election, abstain from voting for Clinton, or to spread cynicism about participating in the election in general.’