NY Times: Russia Trolls Helped Elect Donald Trump Or Something

The NY Times’ Michelle Goldberg thinks she’s on to something. But, it forgets a central point: this provides zero proof of collusion

Yes, Russian Trolls Helped Elect Trump

This year, researchers at Ohio State University tried to measure the impact that fake news had on the 2016 election. They based their analysis on a postelection survey in which they’d asked voters 281 questions, three of which were intended to determine their exposure to online disinformation.

Respondents were asked to rate the accuracy of statements claiming that Hillary Clinton was suffering from a serious illness, that she’d approved weapons sales to the Islamic State as secretary of state, and that Donald Trump had been endorsed by Pope Francis. “Belief in these fake news stories is very strongly linked to defection from the Democratic ticket by 2012 Obama voters,” wrote the researchers, Richard Gunther, Paul A. Beck and Erik C. Nisbet. Even after controlling for variables like ideology, education, party identification and dislike of Clinton, they found that believing a fake news story made people who voted for President Barack Obama in 2012 significantly less likely to vote for Clinton in 2016.

That’s interesting, because she received over 400,000 more votes than Obama did in 2012. Trump received 2 million more votes than Mitt Romney, and, get this, won them in a few more states than Hillary. Did Russian Instragram bots posing in barely there bikinis holding cups of coffee in the woods keep Hillary from going to Wisconsin? Did Russian bots dropping posts on Facebook make her pass out on 9/11, which is where many of the Hillary is seriously sick memes came from?

The study’s authors don’t claim a clear causal link between propaganda and voting; it’s possible that people who rejected Clinton were more open to misinformation about her. It’s hard to believe, however, that at least some of them weren’t affected by a social media ecosystem saturated with deliberate lies.

Is Michelle talking about the NY Times and there 100% negative news on Donald Trump and 100% positive for Hillary Clinton or the Russia trolls?

Russian propaganda, one of the reports found, had about 187 million engagements on Instagram, reaching at least 20 million users, and 76.5 million engagements on Facebook, reaching 126 million people. Approximately 1.4 million people, the report said, engaged with tweets associated with the Internet Research Agency. “The organic Facebook posts reveal a nuanced and deep knowledge of American culture, media and influencers in each community the I.R.A. targeted,” it said.

There is no way to quantify exactly what this barrage of disinformation and manipulation did to American politics. But it should be obvious that what happens online influences our perceptions of, and behavior in, the offline world. People have committed horrific acts of violence based on Facebook propaganda. The Islamic State has used Twitter to recruit alienated Westerners.

You mean the people who Obama called the JV Team, and grew tremendously after his Big Libyan Adventure? You can bet that the NY Times had more influence on the election than some Russian trolls.

In an election decided by a rounding error — fewer than 80,000 voters spread over three states — Russian trolling easily could have made the difference. It’s mortifying and preposterous that fake news ruined America. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Now, prove it. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Prove it. Here’s Nate Silver, who is catching major league flung moonbat poo for daring to show the reality (via Twitchy)

Michelle yammers about Instagram. Consider that 80% of Instagram users are outside of the US. And there are 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day. 95 million. So these Russian trolls had 187 million engagements? That’s nothing. Were they posting sexy selfies with political views?

The very fact is that the Russians tried, but, did they actually have much of an influence? Did they change the election? No. Just like Obama and Hillary didn’t make a difference on the election in Russia. Nor did Obama change the outcome of the Brexit referendum in Britain. You can bet The NY Times, Washington Post, and the rest of the Leftist Hillary supporting media had more of an influence.

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