Report Prepared For Senate Shows Scale Of Russia Disinformation Larger Than Expected

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 5: (L-R) Committee ranking member Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) talks with committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing concerning foreign influence ... WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 5: (L-R) Committee ranking member Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) talks with committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing concerning foreign influence operations' use of social media platforms, on Capitol Hill, September 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg faced questions about how foreign operatives use their platforms in attempts to influence and manipulate public opinion. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 17, 2018 8:21 am
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A new report that was put together by the Oxford University Computational Propaganda Project and a network analysis firm for the Senate Intelligence Committee reveals the scope of the Russia disinformation campaign was larger than previously known and sought to directly benefit Republicans and President Trump, The Washington Post reported.

“What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says, according to a draft copy obtained by the Washington Post. “Trump is mentioned most in campaigns targeting conservatives and right-wing voters, where the messaging encouraged these groups to support his campaign. The main groups that could challenge Trump were then provided messaging that sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting.”

The Oxford group and Graphika reached their conclusions by studying the millions of posts shared by the Russian Internet Research Agency, which the U.S. has already criminally charged for interference. The data was shared with the Senate Intelligence Committee by Facebook, Twitter and Google. The committee plans to release the report later this week, but hasn’t yet said whether it backs the researchers conclusions.

Read the full Washington Post story here. 

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