There are things that the media likes to talk about and things that it does not.
The false claim that Russia had somehow altered the election in Trump’s favor through Facebook ads was a popular media disinformation conspiracy theory that dovetailed neatly with the Clinton campaign’s attempt to have the Obama administration spy on Trump associates using the false claim of Russian involvement.
While the Russian ads mainly occurred after the 2016 election and targeted black people, Iran did run efforts to undermine President Trump.
Iranian hackers have been targeting U.S. state government websites in “an intentional effort to influence and interfere with the 2020 U.S. presidential election,” according to an investigation by the FBI and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
The hackers have “successfully obtained voter registration data in at least one state,” the FBI and CISA advisory report published Friday said.
And beyond hacking efforts, the Iranian agenda was pretty blatant.
The Iranian hackers suspected of posing as the Proud Boys and sending threatening emails to potentially thousands of American voters accessed voter registration data in at least one state, US federal officials said Friday evening.
Some threatening emails that were sent last week to voters in multiple states, including Florida and Alaska, read, “You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you.”
The emails were made to look as if they had been sent by the Proud Boys, a hate group embraced by President Donald Trump at the first debate, but were actually the work of Iranian hackers, US intelligence and law enforcement agencies announced last week. Some of the emails included the home addresses of the voters the messages were sent to.
Now a new report mentions that Iran was almost as active on Facebook as Russia.
In terms of volume, networks originating in Russia and Iran comprised the largest share of what Facebook calls “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior,” the report says, with 27 Russian and 23 Iranian networks shut down. Facebook doesn’t attribute all the campaigns to governments, but many of the Russian and Iranian campaigns had all the hallmarks of intelligence influence operations, private researchers said.
Yet in terms of what we hear from the media, it’s 99% Russia and 1% Iran.