Senate Reports Show Scope Of Russian Disinformation Campaign

The two independent reports were put together by researchers at Oxford University, a social network analysis firm and a cybersecurity firm.
Posted at 2:17 PM, Dec 17, 2018

Two Senate-commissioned independent reports released Monday paint an even clearer picture of the scope of Russia's disinformation campaign during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The reports say Russian agents working at the Internet Research Agency, or IRA, divided Americans into various interest groups and then targeted them with specific messaging on most popular social media platforms.

For example, the reports describe how Russian agents sent messaging to then-candidate Donald Trump's opposition groups that "sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting."

The reports also say the Russian influence campaign sought to suppress black voter turnout by encouraging people to boycott the election or follow incorrect procedures when voting, among other things.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's already indicted the IRA for meddling in the 2016 election.

The two reports were put together by Oxford University researchers, a social network analysis firm and a cybersecurity firm, with some help from researchers at Columbia University and Canfield Research. They analyzed millions of social media interactions in their research.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr said in a statement that the data "demonstrates how aggressively Russia sought to divide Americans by race, religion and ideology" and that it still hasn't stopped. Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner said he hopes the reports spur legislative action in Congress.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN