According to Ludmila Savchuk, a former employee, every day at the Internet Research Agency was essentially the same.
From an office complex in the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg, employees logged on to the internet via a proxy service and set about flooding Russia’s popular social networking sites with opinions handed to them by their bosses.
The shadowy organization, which according to one employee filled 40 rooms, industrialized the art of “trolling.”
On this week’s Sunday Read, Adrien Chen shares his reporting from 2015 on trolling and the agency, and, eventually, becomes a victim of Russian misinformation himself.
This story was written by Adrian Chen and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.