Images and Memes Posted by Russians on Social Media

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With the message:

“At least 50,000 homeless veterans are starving dying in the streets, but liberals want to invite 620,000 refugees and settle them among us. We have to take care of our own citizens, and it must be the primary goal for our politicians!”

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The Internet Research Agency trolls sought to tap into powerful currents of emotion and opinion in the American electorate. Not surprisingly, one of those currents was faith. This simple image, like the veteran post above, presents a standoff between opposing forces — not veterans vs. refugees this time, but Christians vs. nonbelievers. By offering Instagram users the choices of liking the image or scrolling on, the Russian operators set up a gentle test of allegiance: Surely they would want to join the Army of Jesus!

“PLEASE HELP THIS VIDEO GO VIRAL. THESE COPS CAN BEAT UP INNOCENT MAN, GET AWAY WITH MURDER EVEN WHEN IT`S CAUGHT ON CAMERA JUST BECAUSE THEY WEAR A ‘MAGICAL’ BADGE AND GUN.”

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Beyond civics the Post’s essay below could be taught in viral marketing 101

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