The original article which set the tone for the conspiracy theory is called:
"Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say"
Printed in the Washington Post on November 24, 2016.
It is linked here
This is from the same newspaper that helped bring us the Iraq war, so they know quite a bit about fake news.
From experience it is possible to predict that the conspiracy theory will be projected through meme replication. Other main stream news organizations will replicate the memes while demonstrating little if any capacity to think critically.
From the article:
The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House.
The experts making the claim:
Watts’s report on this work, with colleagues Andrew Weisburd and J.M. Berger, appeared on the national security online magazine War on the Rocks this month under the headline “Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.” Another group, called PropOrNot, a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds, planned to release its own findings Friday showing the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns. (Update: The report came out on Saturday).
PropOrNot’s monitoring report, which was provided to The Washington Post in advance of its public release, identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans.
A note: The PropOrNot website is at this link.
The PropOrNot list of Kremlin stooges is found at this link.
Wikileaks! I knew it!
Robert Parry at Consortium News. I've always had my suspicions!
Counterpunch Magazine. Hmmmm...
More from the article:
Some players in this online echo chamber were knowingly part of the propaganda campaign, the researchers concluded, while others were “useful idiots” — a term born of the Cold War to describe people or institutions that unknowingly assisted Soviet Union propaganda efforts.
“The way that this propaganda apparatus supported Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” said the executive director of PropOrNot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers. “It was like Russia was running a super PAC for Trump’s campaign. . . . It worked.”
He and other researchers expressed concern that the U.S. government has few tools for detecting or combating foreign propaganda. They expressed hope that their research detailing the power of Russian propaganda would spur official action.