More than a year before the release of the Mueller report, Congress was trying to get a handle on Russian interference in the 2016 election, and in November 2017, members of the House Intelligence Committee displayed examples of Facebook ads they say were paid for by Russian actors “to drive home their concern about foreign governments ‘weaponizing’ social media content.”
Those were the hearings where the public was presented with the coloring-book page of Bernie Sanders doing muscle poses in a Speedo and Hillary Clinton getting ready to box Jesus.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) November 1, 2017
Did that sway the election to Donald Trump? How about this? A new study claims that every 25,000 retweets of a Russian account predicted a 1 percent increase in the opinion polls.
Jared Kushner called it "a couple of Facebook ads." But a new study found that every 25,000 re-tweets by accounts connected to a Russian troll farm predicted a one percent increase in opinion polls for Trump in 2016. https://t.co/axWC65YMKp
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) July 1, 2019
Call us skeptical. For one, 25,000 retweets is nothing, and until we’ve seen the study, we’re not buying that there was any correlation between so few retweets and the opinion polls.
"Predicted" is doing an enormous amt of technical work in your very carefully written tweet but I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean what you think it means.
Let's try it this way: do you think all political strategists just never realized you can buy 1 pt polling bumps for 25k RTs? https://t.co/FX3OJYZK5p
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) July 1, 2019
Seriously … if you could bump up your poll numbers a whole percentage point just by buying 25,000 retweets, every candidate running would have been doing it, by the millions.
Is this a joke?
— EducatëdHillbilly™ (@RobProvince) July 1, 2019
I used to think that you were a serious journalist.
— Monty Capuletti (@FootTickler44) July 1, 2019
25K retweets out of a billion or more total retweets is a statistical popcorn fart. US Media will never stop their daily attempt to undermine the 2016 election result.
— AshSolesFromTheFire (@ashsoles) July 1, 2019
I worked in advertisng for 20+ years and this is pure BS. Responses to FB ads or any online ad, are practically a rounding error, almost zero
— Spencer Tracy's Hat (@peakeman) July 1, 2019
Clearly this is BS
— jd_koi (@JD_water) July 2, 2019
It was clearly much more than that. However, correlation doesn't imply causation. And Symantec found that the top 20 most retweeted English-language accounts were split evenly between conservative and liberal messages. Yet this study appears to ignore any beneficial HRC impact.
— BillHobson (@BillHobson1) July 1, 2019
Twitter has 500M users
Out of that 500M, not all of them reside in the US
The US population is 329,152,485
Not everyone in the US is active on Twitter and never have
But Twitter, like the rest of social media, tipped the election over people's own reasonings
— Quincy McKall (@QuincyMckall) July 1, 2019
Damn @NBCNews is just awful.
— David King (@kingdavidatx) July 1, 2019
I 100% believe this
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) July 1, 2019
— mel (@wxmel) July 2, 2019
Last I heard, Hillary spent twice as much as Trump on the 2016 campaign ($600 million more). And you think some Facebook ads affected the election?
— David (@808to818) July 2, 2019
….ok…polls which still predicted he would lose. In other words, your shit independent variable is spuriously correlated with your shit dependent variable. Nice "work"
— decided but need more info (@Decided_But) July 2, 2019
this is embarrassing, you’re a news agency? holy christmas
— Victor 🐻 (@VicFromPA) July 1, 2019
This is a stretch.
— CKent (@CKentDP) July 1, 2019
This “study” is a joke. Correlation isn’t causation. All sorts of things are correlated without being cause and effect
— mick j (@mfjak) July 1, 2019
It’s totally a credible study.
— A Close Associate of Putin (@APutins) July 2, 2019
“The study does not prove Russian interference swung the election to Trump.” Whoa, no kidding!
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which is good to know if you’re trying to narrow down which college you’d actually send your child to.
Fake news? Here's that pic of demon Hillary getting ready to fight Jesus brought to you by the Russians https://t.co/BotX1jLNn5
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) November 2, 2017