Perhaps in a bid to stop shedding subscribers with far-left narratives on stories and the issues of the day, the Washington Post may be attempting to follow the path of CNN and actually become a fair arbiter of the news.
In a ‘better late than never’ moment, the paper has finally admitted after six years that Russian trolls working on behalf of Moscow “had no measurable impact in changing minds or influencing voter behavior” during the 2016 election cycle, which saw then-political newbie and GOP nominee Donald Trump defeat establishment Democrat Hillary Clinton.
For years, Clinton and most Democrats have claimed — falsely — that Trump and Russia “colluded” to “steal” the election, and throughout Trump’s term, Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media (like the Washington Post) worked overtime to keep the hoax alive.
Slay News notes:
This week, the Post, whose reporters were awarded for peddling the discredited “Russia Hoax” narrative, finally admitted after several years that “Russian trolls” didn’t sway the election.
A study led by the New York University Center for Social Media and Politics prompted the Post to call into question the central tenet of the Clinton-led claims.
The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Communications, found that “it would appear unlikely that the Russian foreign influence campaign on Twitter could have had much more than a relatively minor influence on individual-level attitudes and voting behavior.”
The study found four reasons why a handful of Russian trolls could not have had much influence over the election:
- “exposure to posts from Russian foreign influence accounts was concentrated among a small group of users, with only 1% of users accounting for 70% of all exposures”;
- “exposure to Russian foreign influence tweets was overshadowed by the amount of exposure to traditional news media and US political candidates”;
- “respondents with the highest levels of exposure to posts from Russian foreign influence accounts were those arguably least likely to need influencing: those who identified themselves as highly partisan Republicans, who were already likely favorable to Donald Trump”; and
- no “meaningful relationships between exposure to posts from Russian foreign influence accounts and changes in respondents’ attitudes on the issues, political polarization, or voting behavior” could be found.
Put another way, few of their posts were actually seen by users, and in the vast majority of those cases, users had already made up their minds who they were going to cast a ballot for.
Josh Tucker, who serves as the co-director of the New York University Center for Social Media and Politics and an author of the study, told the Post that the narrative regarding alleged Russian interference “got way overhyped.”
“Now we’re looking back at data and we can see how concentrated this was in one small portion of the population, and how the fact that people who were being exposed to these were really, really likely to vote for Trump,” said Tucker.
“We can’t find any relationship between being exposed to these tweets and people’s change in attitudes,” he added.