House Intelligence Committee Democrats have released over 3,000 ads that the Russians purchased on Facebook to elect Donald Trump, and the ads specifically seek to sow division in the country while targeting among others Sean Hannity fans and Fox News viewers. NBC News reported, “In the two final ads purchased by the Russian propaganda campaign in August of last year, the troll farm pushed an ad for its anti-immigration page “Secured Borders” to fans of Fox News primetime personalities Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Bill O’Reilly, and to followers of the channel itself. The same page targeted followers of right-wing personalities such as Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and Michael Savage, along with Facebook accounts that “liked” President Trump and Jesus Christ.” House Intelligence Committee ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement, “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. They did this by creating fake accounts, pages and communities to push divisive online content and videos, and to mobilize real Americans, unwittingly, to sign online petitions and join rallies and protests. Russia sought to divide us by our race, by our country of origin, by our religion, and by our political party. They attempted to hijack legitimate events meant to do good – teaching self-defense, providing legal aid – in support of their malign object. 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.”The Russians targeted Fox News viewers in a campaign that matched Trump’s
The stench of conspiracy is all over the Russian ads, as they perfectly match exactly what Trump was talking about during his campaign.
The Russians organized anti-Hillary Clinton events: The Russian Facebook campaign had vast exposure in the US
Here are the numbers via House Intel Democrats:
– 3,393 advertisements purchased (3,519 advertisements were released today);
– More than 11.4 million American users exposed to those advertisements;
– 470 IRA-created Facebook pages;
– 80,000 pieces of organic content created by those pages; and
– Exposure of organic content to more than 126 million Americans.
The Russians knew who they were targeting. They pitted Black Lives Matter and the police against each other. They fed endless pro-Trump and anti-Clinton messaging to Fox News viewers. They targeted voters in swing states, and all of these efforts mirrored the language and priorities of the Trump campaign/Trump White House.
Fox News is state-run TV to such a degree that its viewers are an easy and common sense target for Russian propaganda. The next time Sean Hannity moves his lips pay close attention and you’ll be able to hear Putin’s whisper.
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