Charleston, W.Va. — Yesterday afternoon, WV Secretary of State Mac Warner released a presentation relating to foreign influence on American elections by using social media. Working with information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Warner’s presentation includes real-world examples of social media posts used by foreign bad actors to meddle in U.S. elections in 2016 and 2018.
Today, the Mueller Report was released by the U.S. Department of Justice. The report provides numerous assertions that coincide with Warner’s presentation. The report also suggests that foreign influence over elections may have reached as many as 126 million American voters in 2016.
Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III
Warner’s presentation offers even more specific examples, including social media posts and other visuals, which provide context for West Virginia and all citizens across the U.S. The presentation shows how Russia manipulated real social media posts and used photo-altering technology to twist the original intent. It also provides examples of instances where Russian bad actors created purely false news. Warner said he expects foreign influence attempts to continue and possibly increase in the 2020 election cycle. Therefore, Warner believes it is most important for U.S. voters to be sufficiently educated about how social media is being misused and manipulated, and especially how to protect against misinformation and disinformation campaigns.
To see real-world examples of social media posts that were used by Russian bad actors in the 2016 and 2018 elections:
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