Don Jr. friend Charlie Kirk is caught running a right-wing conspiracy troll farm

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


Related Topics

Pro-Trump activist and Donald Trump Jr. buddy Charlie Kirk is caught paying teenagers to spread right-wing conspiracy theories on social media.

Kirk has appeared at events with multiple Trump kids, was a speaker at both the 2016 and 2020 Republican National Conventions, and claims to be friends with Donald Trump personally.

The troll farm was paid for through Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Kirk’s company Turning Point USA which also operates Students For Trump. Turning Point paid for at least 4,500 posts on teenagers’ social media accounts. The posts ranged from disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic and mail-in voting to conspiracies about Joe Biden.

The campaign draws on the spam-like behavior of bots and trolls, with the same or similar language posted repeatedly across social media. But it is carried out, at least in part, by humans paid to use their own accounts, though nowhere disclosing their relationship with Turning Point Action or the digital firm brought in to oversee the day-to-day activity.

The Washington Post

The activity is eerily similar to the Russian Internet Research Agency disinformation campaigns in 2016, which paid Agency employees to write social media posts and blog posts to promote Trump and lie about Hillary Clinton.

“It sounds like the Russians, but instead coming from Americans,” said Jacob Ratkiewicz, a software engineer at Google whose academic research, as a PhD student at Indiana University at Bloomington, addressed the political abuse of social media.

The Washington Post

The main difference between the Internet Research Agency troll farm and Turning Point is that some (not all) of Turning Point’s paid trolls used their real names online.

“In 2016, there were Macedonian teenagers interfering in the election by running a troll farm and writing salacious articles for money,” said Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. “In this election, the troll farm is in Phoenix.”

The Washington Post

A spokesperson for Turning Point Action claims that the paid disinformation campaign is justified because in-person disinformation events were cut short by the pandemic.


Photo: Gage Skidmore

Trump File is working to get this story and others like it in front of as many voters as possible before the November election, and our reach depends on you! Can you help us on our mission with a donation today?

Click below to be redirected to ActBlue.

Get More Trump Secrets in Your Inbox


Related Topics

Also On Trump File