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Report: Russian social media interference targeted U.S. energy policy

DAPL protesters.
DAPL protesters in New York. Photo: Kena Betancur / AFP / Getty Images

A congressional staff report from the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology indicates that the Russian-backed propaganda group, the Internet Research Agency that was charged in the Mueller probe, worked on social media platforms to influence energy policy in the U.S., according to the WSJ.

What happened: IRA staffers posted photos and messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 9,000 times between 2015 and 2017 to encourage protests of pipeline construction in the U.S., abandoning fossil fuels use, and worked to elevate climate change disputes and controversies. It is not clear that the campaign had any influence on U.S. energy policy and many of the posts were shared by “a handful of followers,” per the WSJ.