What do Sean Hannity, Cory Booker, and Russian trolls all have in common? The same taste in bad political memes, as it turns out.
For the past three years, Russia’s Internet Research Agency, known colloquially as the “Troll Factory,” has been pushing propaganda into users’ Facebook feeds to sway voters in any possible direction except toward Hillary Clinton. On Thursday, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released those Russian-sponsored ads — all 3,519, most of them viral memes.
The Troll Factory aimed to not only divide the country but also mimic the memed political discourse that’s become so near and dear to Americans’ hearts on social media. The sponsored posts run the gamut from fiercely political depictions of Barack Obama and Donald Trump to pictures of cats yawning and a lot of Pokemon Go.
Right here in the U.S., however, legitimate politicians and activists use the same type of memes to score clout with their online followings. In fact, we bet you can’t tell them apart.