The Russian government deployed intelligence assets to carry out a massive disinformation campaign on every major social media platform to support Donald Trump and the Republicans in 2016 and beyond, according to a new report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In an exclusive story published Sunday evening, the Washington Post revealed details of the report, which is based on “the millions of posts provided by major technology firms” to the Senate committee during its investigation of Russian election interference. According to the Post:
The research — by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, a network analysis firm — offers new details of how Russians working at the Internet Research Agency, which U.S. officials have charged with criminal offenses for interfering in the 2016 campaign, sliced Americans into key interest groups for targeted messaging. These efforts shifted over time, peaking at key political moments, such as presidential debates or party conventions, the report found.
A tidal wave of Russian messaging encouraged voting and activism by conservatives who might support Trump, while seeking to “confuse, distract, and ultimately discourage from voting” demoralize those groups — notably African-American citizens — more likely to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Russian operatives ran thousands of social media accounts on platforms that included not only Facebook and Twitter but Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest, along with a phalanx of email accounts on Google + and Yahoo.
Read the full story here.