Russian Influence Campaign Sought To Exploit Americans’ Trust In Local News

Russian Influence Campaign Sought To Exploit Americans’ Trust In Local News
July 12, 2018 Elijah James Logan

Russia’s information attack against the United States during the 2016 election cycle sought to take advantage of the greater trust that Americans tend to place in local news. The information operatives who worked out of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg not only sought to pose as American social media users or spread false information from purported news sources, according to new details. They also created a number of Twitter accounts that posed as sources for Americans’ hometown headlines. NPR has reviewed information connected with the investigation and found 48 such accounts. They have names such as @ElPasoTopNews, @MilwaukeeVoice, @CamdenCityNews and @Seattle_Post. “A not insignificant amount of those had some sort of variation on what appeared to be a homegrown local news site,” said Bret Schafer, a social media analyst for the Alliance for Securing Democracy, which tracks Russian influence operations and first noticed this trend. Another example: the Internet

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