Today, at the Pentagon, spokesperson Dana White stated, “The Russian disinformation campaign has already begun. There has been a 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the last 24 hours.” Yikes.
After the 2016 Election, we know what Russian troll farms are capable of. During the cycle, thousands of false articles about Democratic nominee, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton were distributed across all social media platforms through fake accounts contrived by the Kremlin. It was reported that Russian troll activity was especially high in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan; the Democratic stronghold states that threw the election to Donald Trump.
Now, the day after President Trump ordered military strikes against Syria, a move that was not approved by Congress, Russian trolls are at it again. The goal is to create division among American citizens by using fear to manipulate their opinions toward the White House, igniting tensions over domestic and foreign policy. In February, the New York Times reported that after the Stoneman Douglas school massacre in Parkland, Florida, Russian bots had flushed Twitter with hundreds of posts that supported the NRA and its agenda. It is clear that these Russian troll farms are only trying to raise support for the Republican Party.
Yesterday, after Russia threatened that there would be retaliatory consequences of Trump’s orders, many citizens have begun to wonder if America is on its way into another war. The fact that fake articles are being shared to confuse and frighten citizens more than they already are, is making the circumstances much more grim.
What’s most interesting, is that despite claiming to have America’s best interests at heart, Donald Trump has not lifted a finger to suppress the disinformation spreading by Russia. Michael S. Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency, and United States Cyber Commander stated on February 27th, 2018, that Trump has not directed him to stop Russian interference. He also noted that despite Trump refraining from directing him to stop Russian hacking, he himself has attempted to stop the interference, however, Trump will not grant him the authority to proceed. He went on to say that he had been meeting with Director of Homeland Security, Kristjen Nielsen, to discuss the options that can be used to suppress Russian trolls. As of today, nearly 2 months later, nothing has come to fruition.
Sadly, the situation presents a huge conflict of interest for even Trump’s cabinet members. All of them are Republican and all of them were appointed by a Republican President. With that said, if they have their jobs because Russian interference swung the election to the Republican administration that appointed them, would they really want to stop Russian interference? After all, if Russian trolls did not exist and Secretary Clinton had won the Presidency, none of these officials would be employed by the United States Government right now.
For Trump, the conflict of interest is even bigger. He is President specifically because these Russian trolls tarnished the character of his opponent by spreading fake news. So, is he really going to try and stop Russia if they can just use the exact same procedure to defame his next opponent in 2020? Probably not.
How does it feel to know that thousands of comments that you see daily on social media are coming from computer-filled rooms in Moscow? If it doesn’t frighten American citizens, it should. The practice has the power to divide the population more than it already is, and fabricate support for Donald Trump, who has made history for having the lowest approval rating of any United States President on record. The fact that nothing is being done to stop this means three things:
- The Democratic Party is going to have to work much harder to overpower the effects of Russian troll farms on the 2018 Midterm Elections.
- A large amount of online comments that support the Trump Administration are actually fake.
- The Republican Party needs to decide if it wants to be known as the political party that is sponsored by a foreign government.
Have you noticed ultra-conservative comments coming from bizarre social media accounts lately? Let us know below.