The meme was the preferred method of misinformation for Russian agents trying to sway the 2016 presidential election, and they made use of an online arsenal on the social media pages of one of the country’s most influential conservative youth organizations.
According to a report prepared by researchers from New Knowledge and at the behest of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Russians regularly shared content created by Turning Point USA, the youth organization boasting hundreds of chapters across college campuses and headed by Charlie Kirk.
The article goes on to state the following:
Whether or not it was effective, the goal was simple: to manipulate voter opinion on social media. Operating as the Internet Research Agency out of St. Petersburg, Russian agents waged “a propaganda war against American citizens, manipulating social media narrative to influence American culture and politics.”
The report said a Turning Point USA spokesman responded by stating, “We can’t control who shares our content, and we condemn adversarial foreign actors that attempt to divide our country.” The report also states:
Scroll over to its Facebook to see hundreds of Republican arguments boiled down to silly photos and simple text. Hillary Clinton belongs in prison. Open borders are idiotic. Socialism sucks. Conservative kids share these memes to “own the libs.” According to researchers, Russians used them as an arsenal of misinformation.
New from me: Russia used Turning Point USA memes to wage ‘a propaganda war’ https://t.co/MaqzOMnpyI
— Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) December 18, 2018
— Tom Rogan (@TomRtweets) December 18, 2018
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