Worker describes experience in Russian troll factory

A worker from an infamous Russian "troll factory" has come forward with information on the secretive agency's work to produce content seen by millions of Americans in the run up to the 2016 presidential election.

Vitaly Bespalov, 26, told NBC News that the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, Russia, employed hundreds of workers around the clock to produce inflammatory political propaganda during the time of the election.

The bloggers and former journalists churned out "lies ... a merry-go-round of lies," Bespalov said in an interview with the network, saying workers pushed to fulfill precise content quotas for articles and posts on social media.


Bespalov said that that he "absolutely" believes the Internet Research Agency to be connected to the Kremlin, a belief shared by the U.S. intelligence community.

A January intelligence community report pointed to a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "likely financier" of the operation.

At the agency, Bespalov worked on a floor devoted to writing fake news articles that were pushed on social media, according to NBC News.

Facebook revealed in Senate testimony last month that the Internet Research Agency had purchased 3,000 ads for $100,000 that could have been seen by up to 126 million Americans during the 2016 election cycle.

Facebook later said that up to 146 million Americans could have seen content linked to Russia on Facebook and Instagram.