DAPL protest site photo taken by former Prairie Public reporter hijacked by trolls

Mar 1, 2018

Amy Sisk's photo of the DAPL protest camp before clean-up.
Credit Amy Sisk

A photo taken of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest site by former Prairie Public and Inside Energy Reporter Amy Sisk has become part of a US House committee’s investigation into Russian meddling into US politics.

Sisk saw her photo as part of a Washington Post article on Russian trolls trying to influence the debate over climate change and DAPL.

"As I was scrolling through this article, I came across a photo that I realized I had taken," Sisk said. "Apparently, Russian trolls had taken a photo that I took and turned it into propaganda and a social media post."

The photo showed the abandoned DAPL protest camp before it was cleaned up. And it was paired with another, showing a pristine scene of a pipeline going across an open field.

"What the trolls wrote with the photo of the pipeline crossing through the pristine landscape is, 'What it looks like after the pipeline comes through,'" Sisk said. "On the photo I took, 'What it looks like after the pipeline protesters.' Obviously, it was an anti-protester post."

Sisk had covered the DAPL protest for eight months. Her name is not in the Committee’s report – just the photo.