Study: Russian Twitter Trolls Did Not Throw the 2016 Election to Trump
Russia’s efforts to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor by influencing voters on Twitter had no discernible impact whatsoever, according to a new study by New York University’s Center for Social Media and Politics.
“We find no evidence of a meaningful relationship between exposure to the Russian foreign influence campaign and changes in attitudes, polarization, or voting behavior,” wrote the study’s authors.
This observation is well-supported by a few key findings. Just 1 percent of Twitter users absorbed about 70 percent of the so-called Russian disinformation, meaning that a tiny fraction of overall users encountered actual Russian trolls. These users were overwhelmingly partisan Republicans; there is no reason to think that masses of gullible swing voters who might have voted for Hillary Clinton were hoodwinked by Russia and opted for Trump instead.
And this finding closely tracks previous research on the same subject. A 2019 review by Science magazine found that just 1 percent of Twitter users were exposed to 80 percent of the misinformation present, and these tended to be older, extremely partisan users—people who were already voting for Tr
Article from Reason.com