Clemson study on Russian meddling gains national attention


CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – The work of two Clemson professors and one powerful computer is making national headlines.

Professors Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren used a list of Twitter accounts identified as Russian trolls by U.S. Intelligence officials last November.

Trolls are internet users who create fake social media accounts and profiles to try to sway opinions and attack politicians and elected officials.

Government officials said this year that Russia used trolls during the 2016 presidential election in an effort to attack the U.S. election.

Utilizing tracking software at Clemson’s Social Media Learning Center, Llinvill and Warren identified 3,000 fake Russian accounts that spread misinformation about candidates in both parties.

One take away, Linvill said was that post including links to “fake news” has not used as much as previously thought.

“Early on they tried to create fake news but after 2016 we see very little little of that,” said Linvill.

Linvill said trolling activity coming from Russia has only increased since the 2016 election.

He said their tactics change and that’s something they hope to continue to track and analyze.

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