FBI cites Russian threat in exploiting social media during election

FBI Director Chris Wray warned that Russia is engaging in “information warfare” before the 2020 election, a covert social media campaign to plant animosity and divide Americans. He said the ever-present threat is harder to fight than election system hacking. Wray said the First Amendment prevents the FBI from tracking online lies and becoming “truth police.” (The Associated Press, February 5, 2020, by Ed Tucker)

A bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed last year that the Russians started in 2016 to inundate the social media with fake news, conspiracy theories and provocative nonsense. In 2016 the goal was to elect Trump, suppress African American turnout and divide the country. The report made recommendations for fighting back including warning citizens of the ways false information is spread. (The Washington Post, October 8, 2019, by Craig Timberg and Tony Romm)

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