Right Wing Racist Turning Point USA Pays Teens to Post Pro-Trump Messages on Social Media: ‘Don’t Trust Dr. Fauci’

The right wing racist group Turning Point USA — run by 26-year-old college dropout Charlie Kirk — has reportedly been paying teens to post thousands of pro-Trump and attack messages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram this summer.

Four people with independent knowledge of the effort told the Washington Post how the Turning Point USA scam works:

Teenagers, some of them minors, are being paid to pump out the messages at the direction of Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA, a prominent conservative youth organization based in Phoenix...

One user included a link to Turning Point USA’s website in his Twitter profile until The Washington Post began asking questions about the activity.

In response to questions from The Post, Twitter on Tuesday suspended at least 20 accounts involved in the activity for “platform manipulation and spam.” Facebook also deactivated a number of accounts as part of what the company said is an ongoing investigation.

Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, compared this effort to a disinformation campaign in 2016:

In 2016, there were Macedonian teenagers interfering in the election by running a troll farm and writing salacious articles for money. In this election, the troll farm is in Phoenix.

Robert Jason Noonan said his 16- and 17-year-old daughters have been paid by Turning Point to push “conservative points of view and values” on social media since June: “The job is theirs until they want to quit or until the election.”

Kirk refused to comment, but a field director, Austin Smith, said: “This is sincere political activism conducted by real people who passionately hold the beliefs they describe online, not an anonymous troll farm in Russia.”

(Sources: The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, HuffPost, The New Yorker, The Independent)

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