Russian “Troll Factory” Targets Daft Punk, David Guetta, Tiësto’s Social Media: Report

Electronic music pioneers Daft PunkDavid Guetta and Tiësto's social media accounts have reportedly been targeted by a disinformation operation launched by internet trolls in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

According to The Guardian, the "troll factory" is allegedly linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Internet Research Agency. The organization had been suspected of interfering in the United States' 2016 election, according to the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The headquarters of IRA are believed to be in a rented space in Saint Petersburg's Arsenal Machine-building Factory, which manufactures military equipment and technology.

Daft Punk, Guetta and Tiësto were apparently just a few of many targeted in the attacks. The social media accounts of high-profile political figures such as Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Olaf Scholz, chancellor of Germany; and Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief were also attacked.

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Russian "Troll Factory" Targets Daft Punk, David Guetta, Tiësto's Social Media: Report

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Sources say the purpose of the attacks, which were discovered via research by the British government, is to spread disinformation about Putin's contentious and devastating invasion of Ukraine on social media. The troll factory's operatives reportedly aligned with legitimate social media users who also disseminate pro-Kremlin narratives, a move that likely enabled them to elude the platforms' disinformation policies, per The Guardian.

The research, which the Foreign Office declined to identify due to safety concerns, also allegedly revealed that TikTok influencers were being compensated to escalate pro-Kremlin narratives. The troll factory is said to "recruit and hire salaried workers openly, justifying the work as 'patriotic activity' in support of the 'special military operation' in Ukraine."

"We cannot allow the Kremlin and its shady troll farms to invade our online spaces with their lies about Putin's illegal war," said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. "The UK government has alerted international partners and will continue to work closely with allies and media platforms to undermine Russian information operations."