During the 2016 campaigns, Russian agents harvested posts and videos from Americans and used them on social media to sow division. Here supporters cheered a year ago for then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
YouTube videos of police beatings on American streets. A widely circulated internet hoax about Muslim men in Michigan collecting welfare for multiple wives. A local news story about two veterans brutally mugged on a freezing winter night.
All of these were recorded, posted or written by Americans. Yet all ended up becoming grist for a network of Facebook pages linked to a shadowy Russian company that has carried out propaganda campaigns for the Kremlin, and which is now believed to be at the center of a far-reaching Russian program to influence the 2016 presidential election.
A New York Times examination of hundreds of those posts shows…
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