Okay, this person won the Internet. As Mark Zuckerberg answered questions from congress over Facebook’s influence on the 2016 election, a literal ‘Russian troll’ crashed the hearing! Oh, and the Internet was living for this.
Take note, Russia. This is how you troll Facebook. As Mark Zuckerberg, 33, attended his April 10 congressional hearing, facing a grilling over what Facebook did or did not do to prevent the spread of “fake news” from foreign sources during the last election, an odd flash of turquoise-green could be seen in the throng of witnesses. Turns out, there was “Russian Troll” in the audience, as someone dressed up as a Troll doll wearing a Russian flag around their head like a babushka. “Troll” plus Russian flag equals “Russian Troll.” Amazing!
“LOL Okay that is funny,” one onlooker tweeted, while another wished, “If only all Russian trolls were so obvious!” Deirdre Bolton of Fox Business tweeted, “Along with protestors, here is the [person] is dressed as a troll, as in ‘trolling Mark Zuckerberg’ at the Senate Commerce & Judiciary Committee.” “Important update: there is literally a troll at the Facebook Congressional hearing. Props to that [person] for not just hiding behind his keyboard #Facebook,” another person tweeted.
So was this just some random individual who decided to cosplay as Branch or Poppy as a middle finger to Facebook’s founder? Actually, this protestor is, according to Mashable, activist Amanda Werner. “Today, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that Russian troll farms reached 126 million Facebook users. Donald Trump won the Electoral College by just 70,000 votes. Since Mark Zuckerberg allowed millions of Russian trolls to undermine our democracy, I assume he won’t mind if one Russian troll undermines his credibility,” they tweeted ahead of the hearing. (Amanda prefers gender-neutral pronouns, which is why the above tweets were amended as not to misgender Werner.)
Hello, Twitter. pic.twitter.com/mDxhZWZXPx
— The Russian Troll (Formerly Known as Monopoly Man) (@wamandajd) April 10, 2018
Crowd at #Zuckerberg #ZuckUnderOath #facebook hearing just got read the riot act. Bets on whether the pink glasses or person dressed as a Russian troll next to them will be in trouble first? pic.twitter.com/x7Es8rzuQ7
— Conor Duffy (@conorduffynews) April 10, 2018
This isn’t Amanda’s first use of costumes as a form of protest. In 2017, when Equifax CEO Richard Smith was called into Congress to answer questions about how a data breach comprised the personal information of more than 145 million people, Amanda was there. They were dressed up as Rich Uncle Pennybags aka The Monopoly Man. They had a monocle, white moustache and everything. Amanda even handed out Monopoly-style “Get Out Of Jail Free’ cards.
Amanda wanted to draw attention to forced arbitration clauses that are used in the financial industry to limit consumers’ abilities to take disputes to court (you know, like when you want to sue a company for allowing 145 million people’s personal information to be accessed.) “Arbitration is a rigged game,” Werner said in an emailed statement, per CNBC. “Bank lobbyists and their allies in Congress are trying to overturn the CFPB’s rule so they can continue to rip off consumers with impunity.”