The disinformation wars are only just getting started, warns a new report on Russian social media interference released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
In addition to affirming much of what had been reported about Russian online interference over the past three years—including in Robert Mueller's sweeping indictment of the IRA in February 2018—the report offers a comprehensive look at the extent of past foreign influence operations and recommendations on how best to prepare for those yet to come.
The group made over 61,500 Facebook posts, 116,000 Instagram posts, and 10.4 million tweets, all aimed at sowing discord and inflaming tensions among Americans, says the report.
More than any other group, the IRA aggressively targeted black Americans on every social media platform before and after the 2016 election.
The report notes that “numerous high-profile” Americans, including Trump campaign aide Roger Stone, former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and Fox News host Sean Hannity, “unwittingly spread IRA content by liking IRA tweets or engaging with other IRA social media content, enhancing the potential audience for IRA content by millions of Americans.”