Facebook, Twitter and Google impeded in the Senate investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a new report said Monday.
The report was compiled by Britain’s University of Oxford and analyzed by the firm New Knowledge. It said the tech companies submitted incomplete data and misled lawmakers about the actions of Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm.
The Computational Propaganda Research Project done by the University of Oxford said the Russian agency used social media to polarize the United States from 2012 to 2018 — including campaigns to encourage African-American voters to boycott elections and Hispanic voters to distrust U.S. institutions. The propaganda, it said, encouraged extreme right-wing voters to be confrontational. The trolls also sent sensationalist, conspiratorial and other forms of junk political news and misinformation to voters across the political spectrum to get spark outrage and division, the report said.
“Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) launched an extended attack on the United States by using computational propaganda to misinform and polarize U.S. voters,” the report states. “In this analysis, we investigate how the IRA exploited the tools and platforms of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to impact U.S. users.”