Russian Twitter trolls masterminded a tweet that fueled erroneous reports that the Ku Klux Klan was patrolling the University of Missouri’s campus during 2015 student protests in Columbia, a U.S. Air Force officer wrote in an article on “information-age warfare” published in Strategic Studies Quarterly late last year.
The hoax was part of a calculated and government-supported effort by Russia to disrupt democracies, and a warm-up to subsequent efforts to use social media to manipulate public opinion during the 2016 presidential election.
The article, published by Lt. Col. Jarred Prier, direction of operations for the 20th Bomb Squadron, delves into how “social media is a tool for modern information-age warfare.”
The article is taken from a thesis he completed as a master’s degree candidate at the Air University for the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.
Prier wrote that the dezinformatsiya (disinformation) techniques used at Mizzou are similar to measures used during the Cold War — except they are made easier because of social media.