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Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have shut down the suspect accounts, but it is still possible to retrieve many of the posts and images because they were widely shared across the internet.

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Scott Shane is a national security reporter in Washington.

“We basically have the brightest minds of our tech community here and Russia was able to weaponize your platforms to divide us, to dupe us and to discredit democracy.”Among the ads the committee made public at Wednesday’s hearing were a Bernie Sanders superhero promoting gay rights ...

While many descriptions of Russia’s stealth influence campaign have stressed the focus on issues rather than candidates, many of the Facebook posts did both, often attacking Mrs. Sanders): While the ads being made public by Congress were just a sampling of the large Russian influence operation, independent researchers in recent weeks have identified and made public a far greater volume of such pages.

The indictment spells out in exhaustive detail the breadth and systematic nature of this conspiracy, dating back to 2014, as well as the multiple ways in which Russian actors misused online platforms to carry out their clandestine operations. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants’ means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U. political system, including the presidential election of 2016.” The indictment also notes that the IRA: “[H]ad a strategic goal to sow discord in the U. As Ranking Member Adam Schiff stated during the Committee’s November 2017 open hearing with senior officials from Facebook, Twitter, and Google: “[The Russian] social media campaign was designed to further a broader Kremlin objective: sowing discord in the U. by inflaming passions on a range of divisive issues.

Throughout the indictment, Mueller lays out important facts about the activities of the Internet Research Agency (IRA)—the notorious Russian “troll” farm—and its operatives: “Defendants, posing as U. The Russians did so by weaving together fake accounts, pages, and communities to push politicized content and videos, and to mobilize real Americans to sign online petitions and join rallies and protests.

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