It didn’t end with the 2016 election, and it didn’t end after the 2018 midterms. The Russian misinformation campaign continues.
The Senate Intelligence Committee released draft reports from two research groups that show a sophisticated intelligence operation. From The Washington Post 202 column:
Their goal was to understand the inner workings of the Internet Research Agency, which the U.S. government has charged with criminal offenses for interfering in the 2016 election.
It turns out that African Americans were targeted with more Facebook ads than any other group, including conservatives.
Three of the four most-liked Facebook posts put up by the Russian influence effort came from an account called Blacktivist that urged the community to be more cynical about politics. African Americans were urged to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein throughout the month before the 2016 election. A post on Oct. 29 that year declared: “NO LIVES MATTER TO HILLARY CLINTON. ONLY VOTES MATTER TO HILLARY CLINTON.” A message on Nov. 3 added: “NOT VOTING is a way to exercise our rights.”
"What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically, Donald Trump"
Researchers detail vast Russian effort to aid Trump
'Memetic warfare' urged black Americans not to vote for Clinton https://t.co/VS5U1kZGof
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) December 17, 2018
The operation was run out of St. Petersburg is said to be sophisticated, relentless and effective. Russian posts were shared by 30 million users on Facebook and Instagram.
And it had one goal—elect Donald Trump.
Most sobering, according to The Post, is that the campaign continues.
The reports are now online.
One of the 2 Russia propaganda reports commissioned by the Senate is now online: https://t.co/O3ck6RdFvf
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 17, 2018