What Is It With The Russians And Donald Trump?

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Written By Mohsen Salami

It’s pretty much moot that the Russians tried to influence the last US Presidential Elections, but the unanswered question is why?

The Russian government must have sanctioned the wholesale purchase of thousands of adverts on Facebook.

The adverts bolster Donald Trump, lambast Clinton and sensationalise many important social issues.

The Kremlin obviously felt Trump as President was better for than Hillary Clinton.

But so far, we do not know why.

The insinuation by the FBI and Washington investigators is that the Trump campaign was linked with Moscow.

Fake news

Again, no one has said why, although the world knows Trump has had business dealings with Russia and several of his senior aides who worked on his campaign also had ties with the Russians.

To date, around 3,000 Facebook adverts placed by Russians have been released.

They are a lesson in how to manipulate social media advertising to target specific groups of voters.

Many of the ads were fake news – such as the non-existent group Donald Trump America, which ran a petition against Clinton.

The media buyers also identified voters in ‘Dixie’ and the South as ripe for influencing. One ad from a Russian fringe group called Heart of Texas ran ads against the Islamisation of Texas, while another Russian controlled group United Muslims of America ran an opposite campaign for saving Islamic Knowledge.

Online mayhem

Facebook disclosed in September that the network ran more than 3,000 ads bought by 470 accounts and pages run by a Russian troll farm in St Petersburg.

Investigators say this is just the tip of the iceberg as thousands more adds and accounts were run by the Russians on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest as the election progressed.

The estimate is around 126 million Americans saw the adverts – but this could run to many more once shares and likes of messages and images are considered.

Wherever the investigation ends, the question remains why do the Russians prefer Trump to Clinton?

The unproved suspicion that Trump favours Russia in his policy making or that he has some financial link with Moscow will continue to besmirch his reputation and won’t go away until the riddle is solved.