Monday, October 9, 2017

Google Used Twitter Data To Uncover Russian Linked Ads During Election

Google is the latest social media firm to discover Russian ads on its platforms during the election.  Some of the ads were linked to the troll farm that produced many of the Facebook ads used during the campaign.  However, other Russian sources were discovered on Google platforms.  The ads were designed to exploit divisive issues such as racism and anti-immigrant sentiment.  However, they were also designed to discourage Bernie Sanders supporters from voting for Clinton.  They also supported Jill Stein's third party candidacy.  A vote for Stein was a vote lost by Clinton.  There were enough votes for third party candidates in the rust belt states to enable Trump to win a majority of electoral college votes while losing the popular vote.

Congressional committees investigating Russian intervention in the presidential election are demanding more information from the social media giants.  They have determined that Russian involvement in the election was substantial and significant.  Trump, of course denies this, but he denies everything that raises questions about himself.  Unfortunately, many who voted for Trump are unwilling to accept the evidence uncovered by congressional investigators and by US intelligence agencies.  It will also be difficult for the social media firms to prevent the same thing from happening in future elections.  Their platforms are vulnerable to attacks by sophisticated groups. Their business models are based upon ad revenues which encourages open access to their platforms by anyone, including malicious attackers.

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