Russia waged psychological warfare against America using social media. The Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee just released thousands of advertisements that Facebook linked directly to the Kremlin through a troll farm in St. Petersburg.
The data dump provides a chilling glimpse into just how manipulative and far-reaching the disinformation campaign was across the board. Screenshots of the ads are posted throughout the piece.
‘WEAPONIZE SOCIAL MEDIA’
According to the Hill, the lawmakers released a shocking 3,500 Facebook ads that were purchased by a Russian firm with ties to the Kremlin called the Internet Research Agency. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote:
“There’s no question that Russia sought to weaponize social media platforms to drive a wedge between Americans, and in an attempt to sway the 2016 election.”
The reach that the Russians had was immense. The Russians managed to expose over 11.4 million Americans to some version of these ads.
Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, said that they released the ads as part of the committee’s pledge to:
“…Share more information about Russia’s social influence campaign.
The only way we can begin to inoculate ourselves against a future attack is to see first-hand the types of messages, themes, and imagery the Russians used to divide us.”
The truth is that Russia has manipulated Americans on both sides of the fence with this attack on social media. A report from NBC noted that fans of Fox News and Sean Hannity as well as those that follow Back Lives Matter and LGBTQ-centered pages were all targeted.
Earlier this year special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian groups for engaging in “information warfare.”
“They sought to harness Americans’ very real frustrations and anger over sensitive political matters in order to influence American thinking, voting, and behavior. This was accomplished by engaging in online communities built around common interests and that appeared organic and American, but were actually run by a troll farm in St. Petersburg.”
A PERFECT STORM
At this point, it remains unknown just how involved the Trump campaign was with Russia. However, what is glaringly apparent is that Americans have been victims of a perfect storm of disinformation and propaganda.
With a combination of the Russian social media attacks and the propaganda continually pumped out from the right, America has split down the middle. Who among us hasn’t tried to reach across the fence finding it impossible to wade through their distortion of the facts?
Scroll through all of the ads here:
The Kremlin denies interfering in the election process, of course. However, the American intelligence community, as well as the Dems on the House Intelligence Committee, continue to provide overwhelming evidence to the contrary.