Clapper: 'Gratifying' to read Senate reports confirming early findings on Russian misinformation

Russia's notorious troll farm the Internet Research Agency manipulated social media to discourage African Americans from voting in the 2016 US presidential election

The study was conducted by Oxford University Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, the same groups behind a flawed study released in February that claimed Trump supporters share the most fake news and labeled conservative news outlets "junk news". "Active and ongoing interference operations remain on several platforms", says a report cited by The New York Times.

The report says that there are still some live accounts tied to the original Internet Research Agency, which was named in an indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller in February for an expansive social media campaign meant to influence the 2016 USA presidential election.

The reports confirm the USA spy agencies' overarching conclusions that Russia's efforts ahead of the 2016 election aimed to sow discord, hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. "Most troublingly, it shows that these activities have not stopped", he said.

The research, a draft of which was obtained by the newspaper, is the first to study the millions of social media posts provided by major technology firms Twitter Inc, Facebook Inc and Google, to the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to the Post.

IRA activity shifted there after the media began to write about Russian activity on Twitter and Facebook. The New Knowledge report details sophisticated attempts to infiltrate internet games, browser extensions and music apps.

"As articles began to emerge about election interference - pointing the finger at Russian Federation - the IRA didn't shy away or ignore it", the report by organization New Knowledge said.

IRA was established by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. And it notes that spikes in the IRA's advertising and organic activity match up with important dates in USA politics, crises and worldwide events.

Establishment figures of either party, especially Clinton, were universally panned. "Allegations of voter fraud, warnings that the election would be stolen". Such as efforts to influence Americans on the Syria conflict, in which Russian Federation is backing President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian activity on Twitter was less organized around themes like race or partisanship but more driven by local and current events and made use of occasional pop culture references.

The most extensive analysis yet of thousands of IRA ads and posts across social media in 2015-2017 showed an emphasis on provoking the anger of black Americans so that they would stay home on election day. "The IRA was fluent in American trolling culture", the researchers say.

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