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Russian-led troll network based in west Africa uncovered

A newly discovered Russian-led network of professional trolls was being outsourced to Ghanaian and Nigerian operatives, according to Facebook and Twitter, who removed the network’s accounts on Thursday.

The network was small: just 49 Facebook accounts, 85 Instagram accounts and 71 Twitter accounts in question. But it marks the first time that a Russian information operation targeting the US has been found to be run from Africa.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said the company believes it was such a small network because it was disrupted in the early stages of building its audience. It was, Gleicher said, “operated by local nationals – some wittingly and some unwittingly – in Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of individuals inRussia.