It has been revealed that Russia tried to influence the American presidential election much further than previously thought. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of targeted ads through social media, especially Facebook and Twitter were bought specifically to sow chaos and prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president. Hundreds of accounts, some with a presence on multiple platforms, were identified as Russian trolls and bots, and banned.
They cynically used, and continue to use, many different issues that can be divisive. From Black Lives Matter to the recent dustup concerning NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, it seems that Russia is trying to exploit what it sees as vulnerabilities in our democracy. It uses both ads directly from its state news arm Russia Today, as well as more ‘normal’ seeming ‘civilian’ accounts.
During a closed door session with the Senate and House Intelligence committees, Twitter executives admitted to finding at least 200 Russian linked accounts attempting to help affect election results and turnout, spreading disinformation and propaganda. Investigations into Russian interference continue, as do investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to win the presidency.