The Troll Defense Network is the collective product of the work of faculty members and students at Montgomery College. The goal of this network is to defend democracies around the world by reporting on the behavior of state-sponsored trolls.
The building in the photo is known as the “Troll Factory.” It is in St. Petersburg, Russia. Through leaks in information the public has learned that hundreds work there around the clock posting information and fake news online as directed by the Russian Government. They are paid to open multiple accounts on multiple platforms and create fake websites and use them to support Putin’s agenda. Russia is not the only country that does this. This practice threatens democracies around the world in this information age.
The journal Global Challenges recently published a study that provided evidence fake news has a reduced impact on an audience if they are warned that false information is being disseminated on a topic. This warning can serve to “inoculate” the audience to the effect of fake news. The Troll Defense Network seeks to provide this type of inoculation to citizens around the world in order to defend democracy.