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Russians got more impact from regular social media posts than ads in election misinformation campaign

December 17, 2018 / Sara Salinas

Russia's most inflammatory social media misinformation posts weren't paid advertisements, according to a new report commissioned by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Accounts run by the Russian-backed Internet Research Agency (IRA) at the center of Russia's online efforts to interfere in U.S. presidential and congressional elections saw far more traction with organic social media posts that purported to come from average American citizens, researchers said. The report sheds light on the scale and scope of Russian social media campaigns, which have long been discussed in terms of ad spend and promoted posts. Facebook and Twitter first disclosed Russian-bought ads last fall, revealing posts paid for in rubles and ratcheting up the number of users who saw the advertisements in the months that followed.