- Friday, 06 December 2019 19:00
- Estonian Life No. 49 2019 - Laas Leivat
Aro, born in 1980, a Finnish journalist, began investigating Russian internet Trolls in 2014, seeing them as “a threat to Finnish people's freedom of speech”.
After interviewing people working in the 'Troll factory' in St. Petersburg who were using fake on-line accounts and creating fake news, she experienced abusive vindictiveness including a phone call in which pistol shot was heard and a text message from her dead father indicating he was watching her. Russian nationalist websites claimed she was working for Western intelligence services.The Trolls claimed she had been a “NATO drug dealer” because at the age of 18 she had ben convicted of drug possession.
Not surprisingly, a fellow Finn, pro-Putin Johan Backman, a willing useful idiot for Russia, falsely accused her of being employed by the Estonian and US security agencies.
In 2016 she won the Bonnier's Award for Journalism. However a prestigious US honour was denied her for petty political reasons. After being informed by the US State Department in 2019 that she would be a recipient of the International Women of Courage Award, officials discovered that she had been critical of Donald Trump in social media. She was told just before the awards ceremony by the State Department that the selection of her had been a “regrettable error”. The White House had intervened.
(Read more: EE# 49 6. Dec. 2019 paper issue or PDF/digileht)
Laas Leivat, Toronto