It’s long been an “open secret” on the Internet, yet as the BBC writes, a former Russian internet “troll’s” court case has exposed a propaganda machine for the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin.
Lyudmila Savchuk was awarded one ruble in damages after she sued her ex-employer to expose it as a propaganda “factory”.
She revealed that hundreds of former co-workers at the Internet Research in St Petersburg were employed to flood websites with pro-Putin commentary.
A Russian court ordered the secretive agency to pay her symbolic damages.
According to the BBC, an agency representative said it did market research and he was not aware of “trolling” activities, reports say.
Savchuk, 34, sued the secretive company for alleged moral damages, non-payment of wages and for failing to give workers proper contracts.
She said she worked for the network for two months for a salary of about 40,000 rubles a month, but was fired in March after speaking to the media about her employer.
The Kremlin says it has no links to Internet Research’s operations.
Since leaving the agency, Savchuk has been organizing a public movement against online trolling.