Now we can see why they initially tried to keep a lid on the content of the infamous "Russia-linked" social media advertisements. Today, while grilling representatives of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a number of social media ads they claim were taken out by "Russia-linked" accounts for the purpose of interfering in the US electoral process.
The ads were supposed to have swayed Americans away from Hillary and toward Trump...or undermined our confidence in democracy...or...well something bad! But the truth is they were so strange and even funny (see above) that one might be led to believe someone is having a giant joke on everyone who is pushing the "Russia meddled" story.
This was a sophisticated Russian operation targeting the American electoral system?
But the absurdity of the claim is unfortunately lost on a few dead-enders, namely a majority of the US Congress and seemingly all of the mainstream US media.
To these two groups, the following seemingly-unrelated advertisements taken out on social media were clearly part of an extraordinarily well-planned and successful Russian intelligence operation to massively sway American public opinion.
As the Washington Post breathlessly reports:
These Facebook ads, like several others that had emerged in news reports over the past several weeks, had the apparent goal of needling America's cultural sore spots. ...
Three ads from a group called "Stop All Invaders" showed photos of woman wearing an Islamic religious head-covering, along with calls to action to stop the spread of sharia law. "All face covering should be banned in every state across America!" read one ad, which had been shared more than 4,300 times and drummed up 14,000 likes alone.
Another Facebook ad promoted a "Down With Hillary!" rally in July 2016 outside Clinton's campaign headquarters in Brooklyn. The ad was targeted to Facebook users, 18 to 65 years old, who had declared interest in Donald Trump or Donald Trump Jr. and lived within 25 miles of New York City.
Yet another ad targeted the other end of the political spectrum with the creation of a "Black Matters" community page, mimicking the language of the popular Black Lives Matter movement.
This is how the Russian government got Trump in power? Paying for anti-Sharia ads, paying for ads promoting Donald Trump to Donald Trump voters, and creating a "Black Lives Matter" support page highlighting police brutality in black communities? That's what they did?
Again, Americans should be laughing at such nonsense. But not Congress. They're hysterical! They've found the smoking gun!
Sen. Diane Feinstein screeched at the representatives of Google, Twitter, and Facebook at the hearing today:
What we're talking about is a cataclysmic change. What we're talking about is the beginning of cyberwarfare. What we're talking about is a major foreign power with sophistication and ability to involve themselves in a presidential election and sow conflict and discontent all over this country. We are not going to go away, gentlemen. And this is a very big deal.