Harm to Ongoing Matter Harm to Ongoing Matter 2. U.S. Operations ThrOugh IRA—Controlled Social Media Accounts Dozens of IRA employees were responsible for operating accounts and personas on different U.S. social media platforms. The IRA referred to employees assigned to operate the social media accounts as “specialists.”42 Starting as early as 2014, the IRA’s U.S. operations included social media specialists focusing on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.43 The IRA later added specialists who operated on Tumblr and Instagram accounts?4 Initially, the IRA created social media accounts that pretended to be the personal accounts of U.S. persons.45 By early 2015, the IRA began to create larger social media groups or public social media pages that claimed (falsely) to be afﬁliated with U.S. political and grassroots organizations. In certain cases, the IRA created accounts that mimicked real U.S. organizations. For example, one IRA—controlled Twitter account, @TEN_GOP, purported to be connected to the Tennessee Republican Party."’6 More commonly, the IRA created accounts in the names of ﬁctitious U.S. organizations and grassroots groups and used these accounts to pose as anti- immigration groups, Tea Party activists, Black Lives Matter protesters, and other U.S. social and political activists. The IRA close] monitored the activit of its social media accounts. Harm to Ongoing Matter Harm to Ongoing Matter 4" Harm to Ongoing Matter 41iHarm to Ongoing Matter 42 Harm to Ongoing Matter F _ F .— 43 Harm to Ongoing Matter 4 4 See, ewi SM-2230634, serial 179 Harm to Ongoing Matter 45 See, e.g., Facebook ID 100011390466802 (Alex Anderson); Facebook ID 100009626173204 (Andrea Hansen); Facebook ID 100009728618427 (Gary Williams); Facebook ID 100013640043337 (Lakisha Richardson). 46 The account claimed to be the “Unofﬁcial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans” and made posts that appeared to be endorsements of the state political party. See, e.g., @TEN_GOP, 4/3/16 Tweet (“Tennessee GOP backs @realDonaldTrump period #makeAmericagreatagain #tngop #tennessee #gop”).
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