The information appeared in The Washington Post years after this same newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for promoting the “Moscow intervention” narrative, with which the Democrats tried to justify their electoral failure.
In the US, controversy grows after the publication of a study in The Washington Post that reveals that the supposed “Russian accounts” on Twitter did not really influence the 2016 presidential elections. Information that has been published years after it this same newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for promoting the narrative about the alleged “Moscow intervention”, with which the Democrats tried to justify their electoral failure.
Although it has been more than six years since Donald Trump’s victory in the United States presidential election, it is hard to forget the numerous media publications and the many minutes of news broadcast that took up the case, known as ‘Russiagate’. Information in which they spoke of the so-called Russian influence operations on social networks.
Now a new study from the Center for Politics and Social Media in New York has investigated the limits of Russian influence operations on Twitter during those elections. The first of his conclusions points to the fact that exposure to Russian accounts considered disinformation was heavily concentrated. Only 1% of the users of the social network were exposed to 70% of that content.
The second conclusion is that such exposure occurred mainly in voters strongly identified as republicans. That is, while most experts claimed at the time that the Russian interference was aimed at changing the behavior of disgruntled liberals and Democrats so that they would vote for a third party, abstain, or even cast their vote in favor of the Republican candidate, the The reality is that this was not the case.
Another conclusion of the study indicates that no significant relationship has been observed between the display of tweets or messages from Russian-influenced accounts and the change in attitudes, the polarization of the country or electoral behavior.
Political pressure on Twitter
The publication of this study comes only a few days after new leaks on the social network Twitter and this same topic in particular. The journalist Matt Taibbi has revealed that one of the main mechanisms with which US intelligence achieved control of the social network was the use of the fear of operations of Russian influence in the network. Taibbi has revealed that Twitter initially claimed not to detect such interference and not to be concerned about it. However, he began to receive political pressure.
This led to an investigation in which they found only two important accounts, one of which was Russia Today. The pressure continued with the threat to pass legislation that could have cost the social network a lot of money. Twitter responded by removing the ads from RT and Sputnik. It wasn’t enough and they continued the same cycle: threats, scary headlines, and Twitter caving in.
“The only path to redemption for major media organizations begins with a full self-audit of the ‘Russiagate’ fiasco, including Pulitzer prizes that need to be reconsidered. It’s not a left or right issue, they just completely misunderstood this and need to own up to it. “, wrote Taibbi.