"State-sponsored trolls go global."
M. I. 6 is at it again.
The Scrum is pleased to welcome Kit Klarenberg into its pages once again, and we are pleased to note he has joined us as a staff writer and editor. Kit will bring an investigative and reportorial dimension to pages that are customarily devoted to analysis and commentary. We count this a strong addition to what we offer our readers.
Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist with an impressive count of notches on his holster. He specializes in the impact of intelligence services on politics and perceptions globally. This is an especially opaque universe of subterfuge few journalists can navigate. Kit does—with dexterity, with clarity, and with a depth of reporting that has often left us astonished. He has been credited with exposing multiple machinations of the Western security state old and new and is also a regular contributor to publications including The Cradle, Declassified UK, The Grayzone, MintPress, and Shadowproof. We are delighted to join this list and to count Kit a colleague.
In the following piece, Kit reveals a hitherto unknown trolling operation developed by British intelligence and based on an especially insidious group of Lithuanian operatives known as the Elves. When Kit filed, we were especially struck to discover all the old themes this disinformation operation, this psyop, sounds. We are once again immersed in that Cold War universe wherein history is revised and murderous anti-Semites and Nazi apologists are cleaned up to take their places in the continuing Western crusade against the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation.
It is also a campaign, we must not miss, against dissent, alternative opinion, and accurate reporting in the name of an information monoculture against which independent publications and independent journalists such as Kit Klarenberg are our best defense.
BELGRADE, 6 SEPTEMBER—Since the conflict in Ukraine began, numerous commentators have drawn attention to the blatant weaponization of social media in the service of the West’s proxy war against the Russian Federation.
Legions of users on Facebook, Twitter, and other major platforms, many anonymous and recently registered, have relentlessly propounded pro-intervention, pro-Ukraine propaganda, viciously attacking all those deviating even slightly from established Western narratives. This has created an unprecedented situation. Caitlin Johnstone calls it “the most aggressively trolled war of all time.”
Of course, this hostile informational milieu didn’t abruptly emerge when Russian forces intervened in Ukraine on 24 February. For many years, public spaces online have been subject to an ever-intensifying blitzkrieg by dedicated state-run bot and troll networks and apparently grassroots initiatives. In respect of the latter, the one that started it all was the Lithuanian Elves, back in 2014.
An ostensibly informal collective of concerned citizens banding together to rebut Russian “fake news,” its activists have been praised effusively in the mainstream for their troll-busting prowess. They are , and repeatedly held up as a paragon Western states must follow in order to effectively battle purported “disinformation.”.
Unsurprisingly though, none of the countless glowing media profiles of the movement published to date have recognized that, since inception, the movement has benefited from the sponsorship and promotion of British intelligence. M.I.6, indeed, has made fulsome use of the Elves as it develops a worldwide trolling operation with no evident precedent.
Covert operatives in London immediately seized upon the Elves concept and then exported its model globally, in the process constructing a clandestine network of operatives to sway debate, influence policy, and distort perceptions the world over. This report is based on my investigation of how British intelligence went about this project.
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