If you’ve even looked at the news for a small portion of time in the past few weeks, you’ve likely seen some article from a mainstream media outlet claiming Russian ads on Facebook caused Hillary Clinton to lose the election. But the facts don’t really support that assumption.
Russian information troll farm the Internet Research Agency, the agency being blamed for placing ads on social media to “influence the election,” spend $46,000 on their “brainwashing” campaign. Does that seem like a lot of money? Because that’s a mere 0.05 percent as much as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaigns spent combined in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Combined, Trump and Clinton spent $81 million on Facebook ads alone designed to “influence the election” and earn votes. Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch revealed these figures today during the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing with Facebook, Twitter, and Google about Russian election interference. But their monetary contributions obviously paled in comparison to the amount of money the candidates themselves spend.
To put the whole situation into context, the mainstream media is latching onto the Russian narrative and refusing to let go. Without counting PACs, the top campaigns spent 1,760 times more on election ads than the group of “Russian meddlers.” The IRA ad buy was incredibly small, even minuscule by comparison. This aligns with Stretch’s main talking point that Russian propaganda content was a tiny fraction of the content and ads seen on Facebook. This revelation could put more focus on organically posted propaganda – like pretty much anything the mainstream media dishes out.
Facebook said earlier that the Russians still reached 126 million Facebook users, as well as 20 million Instagram users. But Facebook, Twitter, and Google all confirmed that their investigations have found no evidence that the Russians uploaded voter registration contact info in order to individually target voters with ads. Most Americans are so weak minded they honestly can’t even see that the media has been brainwashing them for their entire lives.
It’s highly unlikely that any ad on social media had a major effect on those who voted. Most knew who they were going to vote for, and if they didn’t, chose the “right letter” behind the name of the candidate.
Now because the media’s choice didn’t win, we face the harsh reality of potential censorship. Watching the 2016 election when Americans were forced to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was enough punishment for the average citizen.
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