May 18, 2017

Russia targets influencers' social streams

Misha Japordize / AP

In the new issue of TIME, Massimo Calabresi breaks down Russia's social media war on America:

  • "Russia created a fake Facebook account to spread stories on hot-button political issues like refugee resettlement to targeted reporters they believed were susceptible to influence."
  • "Moscow's agents bought ads on Facebook to target specific populations with propaganda."
  • Senior intelligence official on how Russian agents apply new social media operations on key members of Congress and aides: "The Russians started using it on the Hill with staffers to see who is more susceptible."
  • Senior intelligence official on how Russia used algorithmic techniques to target social-media accounts of particular reporters and "influencers" during the election: "It's not necessarily the journal or the newspaper or the TV show. It's the specific reporter that they find who might be a little bit slanted towards believing things, and they'll hit him" with a flood of fake news stories.

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West Virginia is latest state to delay primary due to coronavirus

Photo: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice rescheduled the state's May 12 primary election to June 9 on Wednesday, citing fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while many states have issued stay-at-home orders.

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Why it matters: DeSantis has been criticized for declining to order any statewide mandates to curb the spread of coronavirus as Florida — home to a significant elderly population — has increasingly become a hotspot. The order will go into effect Thursday at midnight and last for 30 days.

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