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Jenna Abrams: the Trump-loving Twitter star who never really existed

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Name: Jenna Abrams.

Age: Looks about 35 in pictures online.

Appearance: Not to be messed with.

Famous for: Her uncompromising views, as expressed through a spiky Twitter account that gained 70,000 followers.

What sort of views? “To those people who hate the Confederate flag, did you know that the flag and the war wasn’t about slavery, it was all about money.” Also: “I’m not pro-Trump. I am pro-common sense.” And: “Manspreading isn’t an issue. Stop pandering it into politics.”

Sounds pretty rightwing. She became the darling of the alt-right and the scourge of political correctness in the US, though she doesn’t just tweet about politics. She likes to joke about Kim Kardashian and the importance of punctuation.

Look, why do I need to know about her? The media is far too interested in Twitter and in piggy-backing on to any random remark on social media. That, my perspicacious friend, is the point. Apparently Jenna Abrams – all-American, Trump-loving, segregation-supporting, Confederate-defending Twitter star – does not really exist. The Daily Beast has exposed her as the creation of a troll farm called the Internet Research Agency, based in St Petersburg.

So she’s basically Vladimir Putin? Exactly. The government-backed agency employs hundreds of trolls, charged with spewing out material to destabilise the west.

Should we worry? We should. Abrams’ posts on Twitter and other online accounts were picked up by a host of media organisations, including the BBC, CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post. For Russian trolls, trying to stir up argument and division in the US ahead of the presidential election, it provided coverage no amount of money could buy.

How long did Abrams operate? Three years – she started posting under the handle @Jenn_Abrams in 2014.

And what’s happened to her online nom de guerre now? Her account has been expunged, but traces live on among the media organisations that retweeted her, and no doubt there’s a book deal in the offing.

Not to be confused with: Katie Hopkins.

Do say: “Do you think respectable media organisations will now learn their lesson and stop copying nonsense from social media?”

Don’t say: “Probably not.”

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