: NYT: Effort to expose Russia's 'troll army' draws vicious retaliation

09:57 Jun. 1, 2016

NYT: Effort to expose Russia's 'troll army' draws vicious retaliation

A hooded man representing a cyber criminal (Getty Images)

Ukraine and other countries at odds with Kremlin have legions of aggressive avengers on social media

Seeking to shine some light into the dark world of Internet trolls, a journalist with Finland's national broadcaster asked members of her audience to share their experience of encounters with Russia's "troll army," a raucous and often venomous force of online agitators.

Read also Several more Kremlin ‘troll factories' located in Russia

The response was overwhelming, though not in the direction that the journalist, Jessikka Aro, had hoped.

As she expected, she received some feedback from people who had clashed with aggressively pro-Russian voices online. But she was taken aback, and shaken, by a vicious retaliatory campaign of harassment and insults against her and her work by those same pro-Russian voices.

"Everything in my life went to hell thanks to the trolls," said Ms. Aro, a 35-year-old investigative reporter with the social media division of Finland's state broadcaster, Yle Kioski.

Read also Press Review on UT: Russian troll army uncovered by The Guardian newspaper

Abusive online harassment is hardly limited to pro-Russian Internet trolls. Ukraine and other countries at odds with the Kremlin also have legions of aggressive avengers on social media.

But pro-Russian voices have become such a noisy and disruptive presence that both NATO and the European Union have set up special units to combat what they see as a growing threat not only to civil discourse but to the well-being of Europe's democratic order and even to its security. Full story 


Politics20:30 Oct. 24, 2016
Russia restricts the strongest air force in the Middle East - Haaretz
Politics15:38 Oct. 24, 2016
Normandy Four leaders did not discuss armed OSCE mission on Ukraine-Russia border – Kremlin
Politics15:02 Oct. 24, 2016
Aleppo's bombing on the same scale as before 'humanitarian pause'
Politics14:13 Oct. 24, 2016
Ukraine reports seven wounded in conflict zone over past 24 hours
Politics12:08 Oct. 24, 2016
Ukraine to get visa-free regime no later than Nov. 24 – Poroshenko
Subscribe to receive regular email updates about Ukraine and Eastern Europe