Lawyers representing Facebook and Twitter revealed that Russian groups on their social networks tried to delegitimize Donald Trump’s presidency after the election.
Politico reports that lawyers from Facebook and Twitter told a Senate Judiciary panel on Tuesday that Russian-linked agents on their social networks following election day in November 2016 attempted to undermine President Trump’s victory. Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch outlined to the Senate Judiciary panel how a Russian trolling group known as the Internet Research Agency generated content after November 8th focusing on “fomenting discord about the validity of [Trump’s] election.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked at the hearing, “During the election, they were trying to create discord between Americans, most of it directed against Clinton. After the election you saw Russian-tied groups and organizations trying to undermine President Trump’s legitimacy. Is that what you saw on Facebook?”
Stretch and Twitter general counsel Sean Edgette confirmed that Graham’s description was “accurate.”
James Lewis, an international cyber policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, believes that Russians’ anti-Trump misinformation campaign fits with the Kremlin’s information warfare strategy.
“Their goal is to create confusion and dissent. The target is the U.S. and NATO, not any particular candidate. They just want chaos,” Lewis said. “It went from being a grudge match against Clinton to what they thought was a priceless opportunity to inflict harm.”