If it seems like your family members living in key swing states were more swept up in anti-Hillary Clinton fake news than others during the 2016 election, Russian trolls may have been involved.
According to two members of the Senate Intelligence committee, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC), hundreds of Russian trolls were paid in 2016 to generate fake news stories about Clinton and target them at voters in key states in an effort to swing the election for Trump.
“There were upwards of a thousand paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia, in effect taking over a series of computers which are then called a botnet, that can then generate news down to specific areas,” Warner said.
While he indicated investigators were still trying to figure out exactly what places the trolls were targeting, Warner mentioned they were exploring possible targeting of three states that helped swing the election for Donald Trump: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Those three states were later the subject of a failed recount attempt by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
And, the senators warned, the Russians aren’t done. Burr said that it looks like the Russians are being much more overt than they were in 2016 in their attempts to affect the outcome of key elections in Germany and France.
“We feel part of our responsibility,” Burr said, “is to educate the rest of the world.”
Not surprisingly, Germany has signed on for a new Facebook effort to tag fake news on the social media site, a feature that’s recently rolled out in the U.S. after the platform faced heavy criticism for the proliferation of fake news throughout the election.