Russia contributed in a significant way to the spread of fake online news regarding the US presidential election, reports The Washington Post. Researchers claim they have found evidence of Russia-linked bots, troll farms, social media accounts, and news sites. Those tools were used to spread misinformation to millions of people.
A primary goal of Russia's activity was to boost the presence of content that could "punish" Hillary Clinton. The country also hoped to make it appear as though there were "heightened international tensions" between the US and Russia.
They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests. This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media. - Clint Watts, fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute
Findings from PropOrNot reveal 200 Russia-linked websites managed to reach 15 million Americans, with their stories being viewed 213 million times.
Legitimate state news sources, namely RT and Sputnik, were also used to frame election-related content in potentially misleading ways. However, the information on those websites usually wasn't outright false.