Despite false claims by Democrats and their media outlets, Russian trolling on Facebook was divided and meant to spread division across the spectrum.
It also reveals that the Russians bought over 1,000 ads targeting African-Americans and less than 300 targeting conservatives. There were 81 social justice ads and only 24 patriotism ads, 66 pro-gun ads and 70 LGBT ads, 43 veteran ads and 57 Muslim ads, not to mention 143 Latin American culture ads.
The African-American ads also produced over 1.5 million clicks while the conservative ads produced well below 500,000. The former ads also racked up over 15 million impressions while the conservative ads scored below 6 million. Not only did the Russians seem to spend less time and achieve fewer result by targeting conservatives, but they produced more clicks, 548,139, by targeting Latinos.
So the actual story of Russia’s Facebook operations is that they targeted African-Americans and even Latinos more than conservatives. That would be entirely in line with Russia’s past propaganda, and its influence operations in the United States, but it doesn’t fit the Clinton conspiracy theory.
The Oxford report is even forced to concede that the Russians hit Muslims with “pro-Clinton” messages and that the Russians had “targeted Canadians with ads encouraging donations to Justin Trudeau’s campaign.”
The media is misreporting Symantec's report on Russian Twitter trolling while emphasizing the least meaningful part of it, the monetization of the links.
As has already been noted, the IRA’s campaign targeted both ends of the political spectrum in the U.S. and this is reflected in the breakdown of influential accounts. The top 20 most retweeted English-language accounts were split evenly between conservative and liberal messages...
There is a similar split in themes in the breakdown of the most followed English language accounts. Thirty-five percent pretended to support conservative causes, while 30 percent pretended to back liberal causes. The remainder masqueraded as general or political news outlets...
Top hashtags included MAGA and BLM.
Analysis of the topics tweeted by English language accounts during this time period reveals that content was heavily focussed on the election and quite evenly split between topics relating to either side of the political spectrum in the U.S.
Legitimate reports have repeatedly shot down the myth of fake news election rigging and collusion by showing that the Russians targeted both sides in order to spread chaos and divide Americans. Since then, the Democrats have been doing Putin's work for him.