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Examining How A Russian 'Troll Factory' Pushed Texas Secession

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The fantasy of Texas national independence has been stoked for decades but in recent years it has found an ally with Russia. An investigation into a popular pro-Texas secession Facebook page found that it was run by Russians.

"The Heart of Texas" Facebook page was operated by an online "troll factory" called the Internet Research Agency based in St. Petersburg, Russia. The operation produced thousands of memes with the intent to juice right-wing paranoia. The posts were populated with fake news and grammatically flawed diatribes on illegal immigration, refugees and Islamophobia, along with attacks on Hilary Clinton and imaginary voter fraud.

"The Heart of Texas" page had some 249,000 likes shortly before it was suspended by Facebook. 

Casey Michele is a reporter for Think Progress and has been tracking Russian efforts to fuel secession campaigns in Texas and around the world.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi