(LA Times) Russia has been trolling the United States for decades.
It bankrolled American authors who claimed Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy under the direction of the FBI and CIA; it planted articles arguing Martin Luther King Jr. was not radical enough; and it spread a conspiracy theory that the U.S. manufactured the AIDS virus.
None of these disinformation campaigns succeeded in undermining American stability, in part because the Soviets didn’t have access to what may be the world’s most powerful weapon for fomenting fear, outrage and unverified information: social media. […]
“There’s really no reason for Russia to stop trying to influence election outcomes through the use of social media,” said Kimberly Marten, a professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University. “There is no meaningful response to what Russia is trying to do, beyond attempting to punish the perpetrators.”
If misinformation continues to flood social media and technology companies fail to improve their moderation, the sole remedy may be in media literacy, Marten said.
“The only way we can address the problem effectively overall is to improve our own elementary and high school educational systems, so that as many people as possible become critical readers and thinkers, able to call out any fake news they read on social media,” Marten said.
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