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Report: Russian Propaganda Effort to Spread Fake News

By on November 25, 2016

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 22:   during the 2016 IIHF World Championship gold medal game at the Ice Palace on May 22, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images)

(Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — A new report suggests a “sophisticated” Russian propaganda campaign helped flood social media with fake news stories leading up to the presidential election.

The Washington Post, citing a yet-to-be published report from independent researchers, says the goal was to punish Hillary Clinton, help Donald Trump, and undermine faith in American democracy.

The report comes from a nonpartisan group of researchers called PropOrNot. The group describes itself as “concerned American citizens” with expertise in computer science, national security and public policy. The researchers say they traced the origins of posts and mapped the connections among accounts that delivered similar messages.

The group says its findings show just how effective the bogus reports were. On Facebook, PropOrNot estimates that stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign were viewed 213 million times.

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