Some of the anti-Hillary Clinton news stories that popped up in your social media feeds during the election campaign may have been put there by Russia. That's the conclusion of independent propaganda research group PropOrNot, which provided its report to the Washington Post. PropOrNot found more than 200 websites, including RT and Sputnik, published Russian propaganda during the election campaign that was read by 15 million Americans. The stories—reportedly the work of "thousands of botnets, teams of paid human 'trolls,' and networks of websites and social-media accounts," per the Post—were then viewed an estimated 213 million times on Facebook.
An earlier study identified a similar campaign conducted by "organized hordes of trolls," per the Verge. The propaganda campaign "was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy," says PropOrNot's executive director. "It was like Russia was running a super PAC for Trump's campaign … It worked." What the RT had to say in an email to the Post: "RT adamantly rejects these claims." (Mark Zuckerberg maintains fake news didn't impact the election.)