The committee found that the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) “sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election by harming Hillary Clinton‘s chances of success and supporting Donald Trump at the direction of the Kremlin.”
The IRA specifically targeted African Americans more than any other groups and attempted to influence the demographic by posting about prevalent racial issues. The malicious content posted by the IRA was mainly on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Committee Chairman Richard Burr released a statement on Tuesday that “Russia is waging an information warfare campaign against the U.S. that didn’t start and didn’t end with the 2016 election.”
Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the committee, also spoke on the matter stating “there’s no doubt that bad actors will continue to try to weaponize the scale and reach of social media platforms to erode public confidence and foster chaos.”
Burr and Warner have both released recommendations for actions Congress, social media companies, and law enforcement companies should take in the future to help mitigate the impact that social media interference has on future elections.
The report is the second volume released by the Senate Intelligence Committee after its two-year investigation into Russian interference. Three more volumes are expected to be released this fall. One report will include findings on whether there was coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow in the months leading up to election day.
Politicians have called on social media companies to be transparent on the content users are exposed to, and for Congress to establish regulations to prevent interference in future elections.
The second volume detailing Russian interference in the 2016 election confirmed encouragement from the Kremlin, and three more volumes are scheduled for release in the near future.