Russian Trolls Allegedly Watched ‘House of Cards’ to Learn American Politics
Jokes about reality resembling a bad House of Cards plot may have been more accurate than we realized. It seems the Russian troll farms that interfered in the 2016 election actually drew inspiration from the political strife of Kevin Spacey’s Netflix drama.
According to Yahoo, an independent Russian TV station conducted an interview with professional troll “Maksim,” who claims that a notorious St. Petersburg “troll factory” mandated that its employees watch House of Cards for an understanding of the American political mindset. The intent was to “set up the Americans against their own government,” primarily by leaving comments against Hillary Clinton on major news sites, or downplaying Obama’s popularity:
At first we were forced to watch the ‘House of Cards’ in English. It was necessary to know all the main problems of the United States of America. Tax problems, the problem of gays, sexual minorities, weapons … You were given a list of media that you had to monitor and comment on — New York Times, Washington Post. It was necessary to look through all this and understand the general trend, what people were writing about, what they are arguing about. And then get into the dispute yourself to kindle it, try to rock the boat.
Notably, House of Cards has its own Putin analog with Lars Mikkelsen’s “Petrov,” while the series itself has often dealt with tense Russian relations. It’s also worth noting that “Maksim” was apparently working for the St. Petersburg troll agency in 2015, before the election actually took place.
It certainly says something that House of Cards was seen as the political benchmark over The West Wing, but kudos to the Underwoods for achieving yet another scheme for world domination.
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