What the Fuck is a Kremlin Troll?
2015 March 20
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  1. Kremlin Trolls are online entities identifiable by a set of behaviors.
  2. Kremlin Trolls are not necessarily paid by the Kremlin (either directly or through some third party), though they may be, and we know for fact that some are.
  3. Kremlin Trolls are not necessarily either Russian or in Russia, though they may be, and we know for fact that some are.
  4. Kremlin Trolls are not necessarily intelligence officers posted outside Russia, either under diplomatic cover, or as illegals, though for a number of reasons, it is quite likely that some are. We may know more, but we're not saying.
  5. Kremlin trolls can be distinguished by the way they engage over time on a range of issues and generally in a way that promotes overt or covert Kremlin objectives. This is as opposed to useful idiots and fellow travellers, whose interests may intersect with those of the Kremlin from time to time, but who are generally focused on one or just a few issues.
  6. Kremlin Trolls are generally aggressive, offensive, confrontational, disruptive. Some more so than others. Some Kremlin Trolls do little more than repeat the tweets of other Kremlin Trolls (and may in fact be Kremlin Bots, computer programs, not people at all).
  7. Kremlin Trolls are also frequently anonymous, or at least they make some effort to be anonymous. If they are working under what appears to be a real name they are more likely useful idiots, fellow travellers, or agents of influence.

© 2015 Andrew Aaron Weisburd