SEBASTIAN SEGURA-ACOSTA WRITES – On September 20th, renowned actor, Morgan Freeman, became the recent victim of Kremlin criticism after making a video calling for an investigation of Russia’s confirmed cyber-meddling in U.S. affairs. Soon after the video went live, social media bots, paid trolls, and the uninformed public ravaged the interwebs, making #StopMorganLie a trending topic.
All of this followed the recent confirmation of Russia’s use of Facebook to run ads in an attempt to meddle with the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
Trump’s national security team recently exposed Russia’s intervention in the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Between June 2015 and May 2017, Moscow spent over $100,000 on at least 3,000 ads on Facebook. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, blamed the situation on the lack of ad transparency and claims that actions to prevent future activity such as this are already in the works.
After criticism from U.S. lawmakers for withholding information on Russian operatives’ use of the Facebook during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, Zuckerberg announced that he intends to release content of more than 3,000 ads that were linked to Russian entities promoting political messages.
Zuckerberg announced that he plans to hire 250 people to specifically focus on safety, security, and expansion of connections with election commissions worldwide.
He states: “We are going to make political advertising more transparent. There will always be bad people in the world, and we can’t prevent all governments from all interference. But we can make it a lot harder.”
Since the 1930s, the Soviet Union and its Russian leaders have exploited the divisions in American society to Moscow’s advantage. Perhaps Russian objectives are twofold. On one hand, Russia has the decision between forcing the U.S. to focus on the inward struggle to distract them from international development, and on the other hand, to move U.S. policies toward Russia’s desired outcome.