Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sounded an alarm this week: The Russians are already meddling in the 2018 midterm elections. “The point is that if their intention is to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that,” Tillerson told Fox News. “I think it’s important we just continue to say to Russia, look, you think we don’t see what you’re doing. We do see it, and you need to stop.” A new poll shows that a clear majority of Americans believe Russia will try to meddle in the next U.S. election. But Tillerson also noted that Russia’s tactics for interfering in U.S. politics are constantly changing. A bipartisan effort is shedding new light on how Russian methods evolve.
Hamilton 68 is a project that has been tracking Russian influence networks on Twitter for more than six months, watching as Kremlin-linked bots and social media amplifiers seek to inject themselves into national controversies, like #ReleaseTheMemo, the Charlottesville white nationalist rally and the NFL kneeling controversy.
Bots are automated accounts that repeatedly churn out tweets. They can be used to support a narrative or retweet other messages to falsely amplify a message.