Facebook has said that nearly 126 million Americans may have been exposed to content generated by Russian troll-farms between June 2015 and August 2017. Facebook officials are set to testify to this before Congress later on today.
Facebook’s story and numbers have changed many times over the course of the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election. CNN (@cnn) reports that Facebook does not know how many of those 126 million people who may have seen the Russian generated content, may have actually been affected by it. The content may have just been shown in a News Feed, and a user could’ve easily scrolled right past and never even looked at it. Very true, I do that all the time. Facebook once again defended themselves, saying the Russian based content represented “a tiny fraction of the overall content on Facebook.”
Facebook was not the only Social Media platform to be attacked by the Russian trolls. Twitter has been a victim of the attacks too. Twitter recently disclosed that it had identified 2,752 accounts that were linked to the Russian troll-farm. Like Facebook, Twitter also said that the Russian troll accounts represent an extremely small part of the platforms overall content. I hope that they’re correct, and I hope that both social media sites are telling the truth. This whole Trump-Russia thing and anything remotely connected to Trump or Russia is something the federal government seems to be taking extremely seriously. If yesterday’s indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and the guilty plea by George Papodopulus have shown us anything, it’s that Robert Mueller and his team are cracking down on, and punishing individuals who lie to them. All three men have charges of lying to the Feds included in their charges. I don’t doubt that the Feds will bring these same charges against Facebook and Twitter executives if they find out they told a lie somewhere in their sworn testimony.