Two new reports compiled for a US Senate committee investigating Russian meddling in 2016 say Russians had used an entire range of social media platforms — and not just Facebook, Twitter and Twitter — and targeted African Americans to help President Donald Trump win the White House.
The reports are based on data turned over by Facebook, Twitter and Google and significantly expand the extent of the meddling that Americans have alleged was carried out by the Internet Research Agency, a St Petersburg company, under the directions of the Russian government to help Trump win.
And one of them said meddling continues. “Active and ongoing interference operations remain on several platforms,” says a report cited by The New York Times. It was produced by New Knowledge, a cybersecurity firm based in Texas, along with researchers at Columbia University Canfield Research. Such as efforts to influence Americans on the Syria conflict, in which Russia is backing President Bashar al-Assad.
This report also detailed the meddling focussed on African Americans, which, it said was “most prolific” compare to efforts targeting other communities and groups. Of the 81 Facebook pages created by the Internet Research Agency, 30 targeted African-American audiences, according the NYT report. The effort was urge them — African Americans and supporters of Bernie Sanders — to shun Hillary Clinton.
The other report which was cited by The Washington Post, expanded expanded significantly the number of social media platforms thought to have been allegedly used by Russians for the meddling, going far beyond Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest and email accounts on Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail were also used, said the report compiled by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, a network analysis firm.
Both the these reports were commissioned by the senate intelligence committee. But it was not known yet if it had endorsed them.
First Published: Dec 18, 2018 00:05 IST
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