Tucker: What the Russians did in 2016 was show a toolkit, where you could use deceptive actors online working in coordination with each other

PONARS Eurasia
28 Oct 2020

(France 24) Russia's coordinated effort to nudge Americans toward voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election caught social media companies flat-footed and remains a stain on the reputation of Facebook in particular.

Four years later, the FBI and other American security officials -- aware of interference but silent last time -- are warning that Russia and Iran are meddling. [...]

"What the Russians did in 2016 was show a toolkit, where you could use deceptive actors online working in coordination with each other as a political tool," Joshua Tucker, a professor of politics and expert on data science and social media at New York University, told AFP.

"There's been a fixation on foreign interference, but the people who really have an incentive to influence the outcome of an election are people who live in that country -- Americans." [...]

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