INFILTRATED

Study: Russian Propaganda Targeted Engaged U.S. Vets, Active-Duty Troops on Social Media

British researchers say they have evidence Russia exploited social-media networks to target and engage U.S. military veterans and active-duty troops with misinformation and anti-government propaganda in the spring of 2016, in the run-up to the presidential election. The Oxford University team tied three websites—Veteranstoday.com, Veteransnewsnow.com, and Southfront.org—to known Moscow-tied actors. The content led to “significant and persistent interactions” on Twitter over a one-month period, with a theme of news to undermine faith in U.S. democracy. “We’ve found an entire ecosystem of junk news about national-security issues that is deliberately crafted for U.S. veterans and active military personnel,” researcher Philip Howard told McClatchy News. “It’s a complex blend of content with a Russian view of the world—wild rumors and conspiracies.”