Study Suggests Russia Almost Certainly Won The 2016 Election For Trump
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation revealed that Russians attempted to interfere in the 2016 election. Last year, The Conversation analyzed whether or not they were actually successful.
A study tracked the Twitter activity of Russian social media trolls prior to the 2016 election and compared the propaganda’s popularity with the popularity of candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The study revealed that the propaganda may have influenced people in favor of Trump.
In weeks where Russian trolls were getting lots of likes and retweets on their Twitter posts, Trump would gain in opinion polls.
On the other hand, although Russian troll activity was meant to discredit Clinton, her popularity was never affected. This may be because only conservative-leaning voters were targeted.
The research paper found that for every 25,000 re-tweets made by pro-Trump bot accounts, Trump’s poll numbers increased by one percentage point. Because Clinton lost the election by such a slim margin, it is very likely that the Russian bots could have pushed Trump’s votes just far enough for him to win.
Read the full story here.