Troll Targets Robert Coalson
2015 January 04
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Who is Robert Coalson, you ask? He is a "Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent covering Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Balkans, South Caucasus," making him a high value target for Kremlin trolls. In their mind he represents American "meddling" in Russian affairs (those Russian affairs including Russian meddling in the internal affairs of multiple countries).

Coalson's post that brought out the troll is not especially significant, but note how in under 140 characters it mentions multiple hot-button issues for the Kremlin: Khodorkovsky, TV Rain, and domestic Russian opposition to Putin:

Khodorkovsky on @tvrain: "Authorities are undoubtedly afraid of even small public protests."

— Robert Coalson (@CoalsonR) December 30, 2014

What happened next was a typical Twitter firefight. You could also call it negative engagement. The troll takes a shot at Coalson, who returns fire.

@CoalsonR @tvrain why should they be afraid if russians fully support Putin! Wake up and hands off Russia! Go Home Yankee Pig!

— A-Win (@AnX85) December 30, 2014

. @AnX85 Why should they be afraid, indeed? Unless the "support" is built on lies. You go home, you parasitical troll.

— Robert Coalson (@CoalsonR) December 30, 2014

And that's about when the cavalry arrived, led by the President of Estonia who called the troll a trollop. No point in trying to dialogue with a Kremlin troll - many are paid by the hour and all seek to suck up your time and energy.

Another Troll-op? Trollop? @CoalsonR @AnX85

— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) December 30, 2014

I'm not averse to taking a shot or two at a Kremlin troll - among other things it's a way to remind myself to add the troll to the specimen jar.

@IlvesToomas: Another Troll-op? Trollop? @CoalsonR @AnX85” The KremTroll being AnX85.

— aweisburd (@webradius) December 30, 2014

The troll falls back on babbling, incoherent retorts, and this will go on for as long as you let it. I generally break contact and block them. Once I've collected them I've no need to see them in my timeline.

@webradius @IlvesToomas @CoalsonR thanks for publicity, Nato Troll..freedom of speech....where is it?!

— A-Win (@AnX85) December 30, 2014

@AnX85: @webradius @IlvesToomas @CoalsonR thanks for publicity, Nato Troll..freedom of speech....where is it?!” Needs more of these: !!!!!

— aweisburd (@webradius) December 30, 2014

And so with this, the Kremlin Troll Blog is open for business.

© 2015 Andrew Aaron Weisburd