gd1 wrote:Though in light of current news, is it possible that Putin is trying to foment division in the American populace?
It isn't just possible, it happened and continues to happen.
Well before the Trump era, the Russians set up hundreds of Facebook/Instagram etc. groups on every wing of the spectrum from Black Lives Matter to Blue Lives Matter to Trans-Rights to Christian Right etc. and had them basically all go to war against each other*.
They got hundreds of millions of clicks/views and no doubt acted to divide and polarise us. They also piled heavily in on the side of Trump - making efforts to stir up votes on the right and depress votes on the left.
Of course, 'you can't cheat an honest man' and the animosity had to already exist in society to some degree to be fomented in this way, but there's no doubt it had an effect - perhaps enough of an effect to get Trump over the line since he really didn't win by very much.
New Knowledge's report is due to be made public by the committee this week along with a separate report, also commissioned by the committee, that found the IRA [Russian trolling group] was active on every social media platform and sought to help Trump win. The Washington Post reported the details of the separate report, by Oxford University's Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, a network analysis firm, on Sunday.
The separate report shows that Russians working at IRA divided Americans into key interest groups in order to target messaging, the Post reported.
The Russians focused on turning out conservatives to vote with messaging about gun rights and immigration, according to the Post, and spread misinformation to left-leaning African-American voters about how to vote and tried to undermine their faith in elections.
Many other groups, including Latinos, Muslims, Christians, gay men and women, liberals, Southerners and veterans, were also targeted by thousands of social media accounts controlled by Russians, the Post reported.
One of the authors of the report can be heard in a 3 hour interview on the Joe Rogan podcast if you really want to dive deep into the detail.(*Obviously I'm not saying most such groups were Russian trolls - most were genuine in the sense of being run by Americans - but a good number of subversive and divisive ones were manufactured and directed by the IRA)