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Social-media images shown as evidence of 'Russian trolls'

Alleged Russian-created Facebook pages behind Senator Patrick LeahyImage copyright
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Senator Patrick Leahy said technology companies could have done “a lot more earlier” about the fake accounts

US senators have put on show several examples of what they believe to be Russia’s attempt to influence US citizens via social media.

Facebook, Twitter and Google had previously shared with congressional investigators some examples of what they suspected to be adverts and messages posted by Russia-based “troll” operatives, but the material had not previously been made public – although some instances had already been identified by the press.

Below are the cases displayed during the Senate Subcommittee on the Judiciary’s hearing on Tuesday and a follow-up event held by the Senate Subcommittee on Intelligence, which is ongoing.

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This tweet falsely suggested citizens could vote via text message during November’s presidential election

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This doctored image featuring the comedian Aziz Ansari was also posted to Twitter

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Senator Chris Coons said this advert had been run by Russia to target Facebook users identified as being supportive of army veterans

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President Trump was said to have retweeted a message from a fake account run by Russian agents

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An account titled Being Patriotic was used to publicise a “miners for Trump” event held in Pennsylvania in October 2016

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Facebook accounts linked to Russia included Infidels Against Islam; Fed-up with Illegals; Guardians of Freedom; and Stop Killing White People

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Wednesday’s hearing also highlighted the Heart of Texas Facebook account, which had more than 250,000 followers…

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…it was used to place an advert to publicise an anti-Muslim event

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Russian agents were also said to have operated a Facebook group that promoted pro-Islamic themes…

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…it created an event for its followers at the same time and place as the anti-Muslim rally

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Senator Richard Burr said it had cost Russian trolls about $200 to cause the resulting disruption in Houston, Texas

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Senator Mark Warner said a Facebook page designed to appeal to Christians initially “lured in” users with bible quotes and other “benign” posts…

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…but it later posted anti-Clinton memes after attracting tens of thousands of followers

Source: BBC News

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