Stories

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.