Social media can have a widespread impact and this time it was used as a tool to cause confusion and influence the 2016 presidential election.
It was the tool of choice for 13 Russian nationals who were indicted after the FBI said they meddled in the 2016 presidential election. They were all charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Members of the Russian organization Internet Research Agency are accused of posing as U.S. citizens on social media starting in 2014, creating fake accounts that posted derogatory information about several candidates running in the election.
The FBI said the organization had a strategic goal to influence the U.S. political system.
Jeff DeHaven, CEO of Digital Mitten, said if the content is not graphic it’s easy to get away with.
“As far as the message or a video or photo you want to put on there, there’s really no limitations as long as you have a page you can just start deploying ads,” DeHaven said.
It’s something anyone can do.
“Anyone can create as many accounts as they want. You just have to have an email address. It is kinda a loose cannon type thing,” DeHaven said.
“It’s freedom of speech and social media is just word of mouth online. It’s an online tool to have that conversation.”
Even though the indictment said several Russians did meddle in the presidential race, it also said their actions did not affect the outcome of the 2016 election.
Facebook has a tool where you can see if you were tricked by one of these fake accounts.
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