Time Magazine on May 29, 2017 has a feature story by Massismo Calabresi, “The New Propaganda” or alternatively “Hacking Democracy: Inside Russia’s Social Media War on America”, link.
The details are quite startling. Russians directed tweets to users in DOD, encouraging them to like to malware infected sites that would enable them ultimately to spy on US defense and political operations. It’s a little unclear how government and major party operation computers were so poorly protected. Likewise, reporters were contacted in a way to lead them to “fake news” sites that would distort the picture of the refugee issue in particular. Russians also used algorithms to manipulate news feeds through Facebook to ordinary Americans to convey a distorted picture of what was happening.
Russians seemed to have targeted attitudes toward migrants and undocumented immigrants, sometimes trying to create sympathy (like the debate over sponsorship and hosting) and then suddenly uncertainty, playing the "you take somebody else's bullet" or "trojan horse" card.
And a president who seems manipulative, thin-skinned, and intellectually inconsistent on what he believes – Donald Trump – got elected by hucksterizing to a mentally vulnerable base.
All pretty incredible.
And on Saturday, touring around central Pennsylvania and its decimated coal country (like around Centralia) I found people still supported Trump. It wasn’t just because of Obamacare.