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On examining these Twitter accounts, two showed possible links pointing to the IRA troll farm of Savushkina 55 (in late 2017 their office moved to a different address in Saint Petersburg.) First there was @shomyo, a sketchy profile with “john Doe” as a given name, following only six accounts, mostly Russian, including a Saint Petersburg football team. The second example pointed more substantively to the Internet Research Agency, but has been dormant since 2015.
@rapitangnyy, with a linked pro-Kremlin Live Journal account, tweeted links to similar patriotic blogs.
None of them matched with any of the infrastructure I have on file (my records, derived from open sources, are robust though not exhaustive) as being linked to the Internet Research Agency, RIA FAN, or the IP addresses of their associated forum trolls.
Rather, it seems more likely that ajcrwl's use of a VPN, in combination with activity involving three accounts, set off Reddit's tripwire.
Had their identity been revealed by their ill-judged reuse of the same username across multiple platforms?I've also been logged into two accounts from my phone.ajcrwl willingly shared with me the AS number (a code that identifies a range of IP addresses used by a particular service provider) and VPN addresses (based in London, Poland and Atlanta) they had used before their ban.The matching rapitangnyy Reddit account (archive) was largely used to promote the Russian-language Live Journal blog posts, most of them painting Ukraine and the West in a bad light. So this is, without doubt, a Russian troll factory account — but not one deployed against the US during the election.Perhaps the most noteworthy findings during my trawl through Reddit's “suspicious” users were those that likely weren't products of a troll factory at all.