The appeal to feelings in times of special weakness is one of the keys to spreading propaganda. An hour after the news of the shooting in Florida spread last week, Twitter accounts suspected of being controlled by the Kremlin machinery began tweeting about arms control in the USA.
According to an investigation by The New York Times, as soon as the news agencies began to spread the news, some accounts adopted hashtags (tags to centralize the conversation) #guncontrolnow, #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting to generate debate and create division.
The newspaper maintains that many of the accounts used for this purpose are the same ones that are being investigated because of their relationship with Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign.
“It’s pretty typical for them to get on the bandwagon of breaking news like that”, said Jonathon Morgan, executive director of New Knowledge, a company that pursues this time of behavior. “The bots focus on any issue that creates division among Americans. They do it systematically”. The second amendment of the Constitution, the text that authorizes the use of weapons, is one of the points that generates the most controversy in American society. A gap that these broadcasters take advantage of with great opportunity.
They usually do not work only on Twitter, but also on Facebook and YouTube. These networks of links, false news and content that calls for the movement in the streets was already activated during the US electoral campaign, when it expanded the spread of false news about Hillary Clinton. Google, Facebook and Twitter, to a greater or lesser extent, have tried to stop these accounts, without success according to this new action at a critical moment.