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Lauren Chen (@TheLaurenChen) Appears on Russian Propaganda

Twitter influencer Lauren Chen (@TheLaurenChen) was featured on the Russian Propaganda network, RT today. See the tweet below.1

What is Russia’s Goal with RT?

The goal of RT (formerly, “Russia Today”) has been summed up as, “anything that causes chaos“.2 Russia’s goal is to chaos in the U.S. and other western democracies. It’s to paint western democracies as ineffective in order to justify Putin’s dictatorship and weaken its adversaries (such as the U.S.).

How Does Lauren Chen’s Interview Help RT’s Goals?

It’s no surprise that the screenshot the video starts with includes a, “sorry we’re closed” sign as it paints a very negative view of the United States. The video supports the narrative that stimulus money from the government is causing people to demand higher wages (than they had pre-COVID) which is causing lots of businesses to close because they can’t pay their wages. This seems to paint the U.S. in a negative light as a place in chaos, which is exactly Russia’s goal.

Another of Russia’s goal is to influence U.S. persons. Given that the video (at the time of writing this) only got 3 retweets from RT’s account, could it be their goal is to influence Chen moreso than get views of their video? We don’t claim to know, but these are still fair questions to ask.

Opinion: You Can be Loyal to the U.S. and Debate Biden, Just not on RT

There are different views of stimulus payments, and there’s nothing wrong with having a passionate debate about those. However, to appear on an adversary nation’s state media and attack the current state of the U.S. as well as the U.S. President, doesn’t seem loyal to the United States.

This has nothing to do with policy or partisan points of view. It’s clear Russia has supported both left and right influencers to achieve their goal of weakening U.S. democracy, something we’ve tried to highlight in our reports (such as this one).3

Regardless of your views, appearing on the state-sponsored media channels that are intended to weaken U.S. democracy should be out of the question. Unfortunately for Chen, it was not.

  1. Internet Archive Backup, Lauren Chen RT Tweet
  2. Columbia Journalism Review: What Is Russia Today?
  3. See this article from Rolling Stone for when a prominent left-wing account turned out to be Russian propaganda

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