Major Russian bot farm uncovered

The US Department of Justice has uncovered a Russian bot farm that’s been spreading disinformation about the Russia-Ukraine war, around the US

Martin Crowley
July 10, 2024

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has discovered that a Russian bot farm, with over 900 AI-generated fake social media accounts, has been spreading propaganda and disinformation around the US and other countries.

What has the bot farm been posting?

Most of the AI-generated fake profiles look like they belong to American citizens, with biographical information, political ideologies, locations, personas, backstories, photos, friends, and families, and have been posting videos, content, and images to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other pro-Kremlin initiatives. One of these fake profiles professed to be a Bitcoin enthusiast and a free speech absolutist, from Minneapolis, who was opposed to the New World Order.

Who created the bot farm?

The DOJ has confirmed that an ‘unnamed’ RT (Russia’s state-owned media outlet) editor was responsible for the bot farm after RT leadership approved plans to  “distribute information on a wide-scale basis.”

How was the mass-bot farm created?

The ‘unnamed’ RT editor bought two domain names that they then used to create two email servers which were then used to create 968 email addresses, which were then used to create fake social media accounts. AI-enabled bot farm generation and management software–Meliorator–was used to generate the images, videos, and personas for each of the 968 profiles. Most of these profiles were generated on X (formerly Twitter) as security restrictions can be more easily bypassed, using specific software.

Although X has since suspended the fake accounts for terms of service violations, it’s not known how many people followed them or integrated with their content, so investigations will continue.