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fence, who then saw some crude anti-Hillary meme on social media and thought, “That clinches it — now I can’t vote for the Democrat I’ve disdained literally for decades.”
The study found, naturally, “The relationship between the number of posts from Russian foreign influence accounts that users are exposed to and voting for Donald Trump is near zero.” Nor did Russian posts influence attitudes toward the issues or drive increased polarization.
It turns out that random drivel produced by foreigners and thrown into the enormous, all-consuming maw of American social media doesn’t have much effect. If the report’s findings were more politically convenient, they would be spread far and wide by traditional media outlets urging everyone to accept its conclusions as “science.”
In the end, it turns out, the biggest success of the Russian operation was driving a segment of American political opinion completely mad.
Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.