Twitter accounts known for pushing Kremlin disinformation campaigns are also helping make Blexit trend, a Daily Beast investigation reveals.
Started by right-wing internet personality Candace Owens, Blexit – an internet movement urging blacks to abandon the Democratic Party – has reached almost viral proportions, but as it turns out at least 16 percent of Blexit tweets have been published by accounts known for pushing Kremlin fake news in the past.
What seems to be a disinformation campaign is not only being promoted by Owens but also by other right-wing Twitter personalities.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kanye West was thought to be part of the campaign, until he denied participating in it via Twitter, accusing Owens of using his name to push for Blexit, even though the rapper has “nothing to do” with the movement.
For Candace Owens, this is not the first time to get caught up in a scandal.
Her rise from obscure YouTube personality to one of the leading black conservative voices has been detailed by NBC News, which states in its report on Owens that she is known for denying climate change, spreading baseless conspiracy theories, and parroting far-right talking points.
Meant to transcend the far-right social media echo chamber, Owens’ Blexit campaign is, according to the Daily Beast, being amplified by Kremlin-controlled Twitter accounts which have pushed similar pro-Russian disinformation campaigns in the past: from the theory that the chemical attack by Assad’s government in Syria was a “false flag,” over meddling in French elections, to supporting Russia’s counterintelligence agency GRU.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 3, 2018
The publication notes, however, that the analysis captured only 250,000 tweets which makes it impossible to tell what the exact scope of the campaign is.
“There’s no easy way to tell how many of those tweets are swelling from Blexit’s target demographic rather than already-committed GOP supporters.”
Although amplified and pushed by Russian trolls, similar campaigns have been accepted and spread by organic, American Twitter accounts in the past.
“Our monitoring captured 78,134 accounts pushing Blexit. In total, 12 percent of those accounts championed those earlier Russian disinformation efforts.”
Therefore, the size and shape of organic support for #Blexit, according to the Daily Beast, will ultimately become known after the midterms.
In February this year, the Justice Department indicted 13 Russian operatives and three companies on charges related to election meddling, according to Time, but the United States is not the only country to have been targeted by the Kremlin.
An analysis published by the Guardian, reveals that accounts run from a Saint Petersburg troll farm attempted to sow division in Britain while pushing for Brexit.