Bots Distorted the 2016 Election. Will the Midterms Be a Sequel?

November 7, 2018 Tiffany Olson Kleemann

The fact that Russian-linked bots penetrated social media to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been well documented, and the details of the deception are still trickling out.

In fact, on October 17, Twitter disclosed that foreign interference dating back to 2016 involved 4,611 accounts — most affiliated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm. There were more than 10 million suspicious tweets and more than 2 million GIFs, videos and Periscope broadcasts.

In this season of another landmark election — a recent poll showed that about 62 percent of Americans believe the 2018 midterm elections are the most important midterms in their lifetime — it is natural to wonder if the public and private sectors have learned any lessons from the 2016 fiasco — and what is being done to better protect against this malfeasance by nation-state actors.

There is good news and bad news here. Let’s start with the bad.

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About the Author

Tiffany is a dynamic executive with more than 20 years of proven business and operations experience within the information technology industry (large companies and startups), the White House, government and U.S. military. Previously, Tiffany was a vice president at FireEye, leading global strategic partnerships and alliance operations. She joined the FireEye team through the acquisition of iSIGHT Partners where she was Chief Revenue Officer & SVP of Client Solutions.

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