Russia Rejects Reports Alleging Extensive US Election Meddling

Former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington Monday Dec. 17 2018 after a second closed-door interview with two R

Former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington Monday Dec. 17 2018 after a second closed-door interview with two R

The report stated the existence of live accounts tied to IRA, some of which have moved their online presence to smaller platforms, as the big social media companies have cracked down on Russian trolling activity.

They show how, through hundreds of millions of interactions on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, the IRA looked for every opportunity to exploit divisions in USA society to boost Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Media outlets have embraced the two reports - submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee but not endorsed or even scheduled for hearings by the committee - as feeding their narrative that Russian Federation colluded with social media executives known to have opposed Trump's candidacy to in fact aid it by not only providing pro-Trump administration to supporters but by sowing confusion among opponents about when or how to vote, supporting Bernie Sanders's disputes with Hillary Clinton over delegates, or otherwise misleading the public.

The two reports, both commissioned by the committee, were based on troves of data - much of it not disclosed publicly - about the Russian campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election that Facebook, Twitter and Google gave lawmakers. One showed Democrat Hillary Clinton saying, "Everyone I don't like is A Russian Hacker".

Social media researchers said the weaponization of these sites and services highlights the broadening challenge they face in combating the increasingly sophisticated tactics of Russian Federation and other foreign malefactors online.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to influence the 2016 election and whether the president has tried to obstruct justice by trying to undermine the probe.

"T$3 he IRA narratives began to actively mock the idea that Russians had interfered in the USA election (as described earlier in this report)", it said.

Troll accounts marshalled by the organisation had inflamed right-wing conspiracy theories and suppressed the vote of traditionally liberal-leaning groups such as African Americans, the report said.

Former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington Monday Dec. 17 2018 after a second closed-door interview with two R
Former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington Monday Dec. 17 2018 after a second closed-door interview with two R

Russians seeking to influence US elections through social media had their eyes on Instagram and the black community.

The New Knowledge study says that there were 187 million engagements with users on Instagram, while there were 77 million on Facebook.

Russian Federation has been accused of manipulating the 2016 USA presidential vote through a vast propaganda campaign in favour of Donald Trump.

The Russian operation had broad reach: between 2015 and 2017, over 30 million users in the United States shared the IRA's Facebook and Instagram posts with their social contacts, the Oxford and Graphika report found.

While those on both sides of the aisle continue arguing about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, there finally appears to be major movement by Mueller on this front.

The report by New Knowledge highlighted the focus on Mueller and fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, who was falsely portrayed as "a dirty cop".

Every other GOP lawmaker on the Senate Intelligence Committee declined to comment or didn't respond.

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