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Russia, Cambridge Analytica, and What Else? Groups and Targets behind Divisive Issue Campaigns on Facebook

Oxford Internet Institute

In light of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S elections and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the present research asks the question of whether the digital media has become the stealth media for anonymous political campaigns. The findings revealed that anonymous groups - unidentifiable "suspicious" groups, astroturf/movement/unregistered groups, and nonprofits who did not file a report to Federal Election Commission - ran most of the divisive issue campaigns. One out of six suspicious groups later turned out to be Kremlin-linked groups.

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