How to hack the midterm election with social media

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russian cyber-operatives conducted a sustained “influence campaign” cyberattack on the American electoral system by relying on social media to radicalize voters, undermine institutions, and disseminate misleading information.

The efforts are ongoing in the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterms — and other countries are doing it, too.

Influence campaigns — coordinated efforts to create and propagate misleading and inflammatory content on social media — borrow heavily from modern internet-based marketing techniques.

“[Tech] platforms are especially good at helping marketers hit a target audience with a refined message,” says Adweek technology editor Josh Sternberg. “Influence campaigns are no different. They’re effective because social media marketing is effective.”

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