A Russian troll farm that is the target of a current U.S. indictment allegedly put out a plethora of content meant to sway the 2016 presidential election. According to the Associated Press, that content might include a fake Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton sex tape made using body doubles. Yuck.
The indictment highlights how ridiculous some of the stunts used to influence the election really were. Alan Baskaev—a former staff member at the Internet Research Agency, the St. Petersburg troll farm in question—told one Russian television channel that the agency made a video that looked like a U.S. soldier shooting a Quran. He also told the channel that they hired actors to create a fake sex tape of Obama and Clinton getting it on. "No one would buy it, clearly," Baskaev told the broadcaster.
Fortunately, the AP couldn’t find evidence to back up the Obama/Clinton sex tape claim. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, considering the other video of a fake U.S. soldier shooting a Quran did pop up online in September 2015. The Quran shooting video, along with other fake videos that made it online, generally flopped. That doesn’t mean that the videos didn’t influence anyone or that other, more stealthy content made by the IRA, such as fake social media accounts and articles, didn’t have an effect on the 2016 election.
If the Obama/Clinton video does exist and surfaces online—which, for the record, I pray it does not—it will only serve as further evidence of how ridiculously far Russian trolls were willing to go to try and sway the American public.