The Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg-based troll farm indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller, reportedly tweeted about the Affordable Care Act and healthcare policy “from 2014 through this past May” to “use divisions over the health law to mobilize voters, pressure Congress and target specific lawmakers,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Researchers at Clemson University told the newspaper they found close to 600 IRA-linked accounts that had tweeted about ACA and healthcare, posting a total of about 9,800 tweets. One of these accounts, @Ten_GOP, was first uncovered as an Internet Research Agency account by The Daily Beast. The Journal reports that about 80 percent of the content had “conservative-leaning political messages, often disparaging” the ACA. The accounts identified as IRA by Twitter have since been removed from the social-media site, but intelligence experts say that the trolls’ efforts are “continuing through similar accounts and channels.” This isn’t the first time Russian trolls have used healthcare issues to sow division. The American Journal of Public Health found last month that Russian actors have been “spreading misinformation about vaccines” on social networks.
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