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Russian efforts to influence press seen in exploitation of trust in local news

The Russian government attacked the U.S. during the 2016 by exploiting public trust in local news by creating Twitter accounts that posed as sources for headlines in hometown newspapers. The accounts used names such as @ElPasoTopNews and @Seattle_Post. The accounts posted credible news to build trust and readership in preparation for a future attack as part of an extended campaign to destabilize the U.S. Twitter figured it out and suspended the accounts. (MPR, July 12, 2018, by Tim Mak and Libby Berry)

A broad Russian effort to bring down the press in the U.S. has been underway for some time. So argued Lee Smith, The Federalist, October 10, 2017, claiming that a private information company, Fusion GPS, had developed relationships with U.S. journalists and used them to influence reporting about efforts to repeal the 2012 Magnitshy Act passed to punish Russian officials involved in the prison death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

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