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Techies Say Mueller Report’s Russian Bot Claims Are Overblown

...The Committee for Justice, a pro-Constitutionalist policy think-tank, said in a statement Thursday that, when put into perspective, the efforts by Russia’s Internet Research Agency to spread misinformation online actually seemed downright paltry.

Mueller’s findings concluded that the IRA had the capacity to reach millions of U.S. social-media users by the end of the presidential campaign.

This “gives the mistaken impression that the Russian operation had a substantial impact on the 2016 election,” said CFJ. “But while the operation is alarming, it was actually quite modest in its scale and sweep.”

The CFJ said it previously noted in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last August that the Russians reportedly spent a mere $46,000 on Facebook ads during the 2016 race. The official Clinton and Trump campaigns spent $81 million on Facebook ads by comparison.

“For every 25,000 items the typical Facebook user saw in his news feed, only one came from the Russians,” said the op-ed.

Even Google CEO Sundar Pichai, while testifying at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, said that what committee chair Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, claimed was “a massive disinformation campaign to influence the 2016 election” in fact amounted to a couple thousand dollars.

Likewise, the breathless reporting on Russia’s 1,000 disinformation videos uploaded to YouTube glossed over the fact that 300 hours’s worth of YouTube content is uploaded every minute, said the CFJ...


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