Gareth Porter’s latest article, The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election, takes on a recent New York Times piece claiming to outline how exactly Russian actors sought to undermine the 2016 presidential election. Porter explains that the Times implies a very misleading conclusion from the data, namely that the Russian government must have been involved just because Russian social media accounts were active during the election. In fact, since Russia is a primary source of for-sale “bot” accounts, both sides had significant engagement from such accounts. Porter also points out that most of the activity from fake accounts actually happened after the election, and that their overall share of political discourse was miniscule.
Discussed on the show:
- “The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election” (Consortium News)
- “The Plot to Subvert an Election” (New York Times)
- Facebook congress testimony
Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state, and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter and listen to Gareth’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.
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