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15 Nov 2017

‘I’m not a Russian troll – I’m a security guard from Glasgow’

Story image for security guard from The Scotsman

‘I’m not a Russian troll – I’m a security guard from Glasgow’

The Scotsman9 hours ago
An alleged Russian online troll named on a prominent news website is actually asecurity guard from Glasgow, The Scotsman can reveal.

A Scottish security guard has spoken out after he named as a Russian online troll who spreads pro-Kremlin propaganda.

The anonymous Scot, who posts under the name ‘Smoo’, was accused of being a Russian propagandist by ByLine, a prominent crowdfunded journalism website in the UK.

Speaking to the Scotsman, he described how he mainly uses Twitter under the handle@Didgery77332
to pass time at work, with his interest in politics stemming from the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014.

‘I’m not posting anonymously’,  he explained.

‘Smoo has been my nickname since I was six years old. It’s not difficult to track me down.

‘People might not agree with my opinions, but that doesn’t make me a Russian troll.’

He added: ‘I work 12 hour shifts, often standing at a gate for hours on end – posting on Twitter helps pass the time.’

The claims against the security guard were initially made by journalist James Patrick, who suggested that his ‘horrific use of English’ and ‘pro-Russian posture’ could be proof that he is a bot.

He also challenged his use of ‘Wot’ and argued that it was not commonly used by Scots.

‘In almost a year of daily interaction with Scottish Twitter users, I can hand on heart say I’d never seen one of them use “Wot”’, he said.

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He added: ‘Identifying a troll account is incredibly difficult and has to often be based on the balance of probabilities.

In this case study, the account features a number of classic indicators, as well as the right messaging and off language, and was combined with potentially cut and paste photographs.

‘On balance, at the higher end of the probability scale, it was a fair assessment that this account appears to be a foreign-based troll pushing Russian messaging.’

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