The same Russian online troll farm that meddled in the American presidential election has also taken swipes at Canadian targets, including oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Evidence is embedded in data made publicly available through investigations in the United States, where congressional probes have been examining Russian information campaigns following the 2016 presidential election. One report from a Republican-led committee in the House of Representatives released this month said the St. Petersburg troll factory, members of which now face criminal charges in the U.S., posted online about energy roughly half as often as it did about American presidential politics.
The committee’s review of more than 4,000 accounts linked to the now-notorious Internet Research Agency finds more than 9,000 posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about pipelines and fracking, including an unspecified number about the Canada-U.S. Keystone XL pipeline.
The committee would not release the raw data allowing a search for all Canada-specific messages. But The Canadian Press did find a few dozen anti-Keystone tweets in an unrelated data set, provided by Twitter to a U.S. congressional committee looking into meddling in the 2016 election.