Liberals still can’t cope with the fact that Donald Trump is the president. They are still looking for some magical explanation so that their world will continue to make sense. It should have been Hillary’s year, y’all. The most qualified candidate in American history! How did this happen? Was it James Comey’s fault? Was it because of those damn emails? No, it was because America has a seedy, sexist underbelly that finally showed itself like a long-hidden dragon. Wait, no, it’s because the Electoral College is an outdated, reprehensible institution formed to protect the Republican Party.
But more often than not, they default back to their favorite bogeyman: The Russians.
While that “blame the Russians” narrative lost a lot of steam when the Mueller report came out, proving that no one involved in the Trump campaign collaborated or colluded with the Kremlin’s interference efforts, it got a bit of a boost this week when researchers revealed their newest finding: According to a Tennessee-Knoxville study, every 25,000 Russian bot retweets correlated to a 1% increase in Donald Trump’s poll numbers.
Hmm, were these the same poll numbers that predicted, on Election Day, that Hillary Clinton would demolish Trump at the ballot box? Just asking…
From NBC News:
The study, by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, does not prove that Russian interference swung the election to Trump. But it demonstrates that Trump’s gains in popularity during the 2016 campaign correlated closely with high levels of social media activity by the Russian trolls and bots of the Internet Research Agency, a key weapon in the Russian attack.
“Our results show that the weeks when Russian trolls were accumulating likes and retweets on Twitter, that activity reliably foreshadowed gains for Trump in the opinion polls,” wrote Damian Ruck, the study’s lead researcher, in an article explaining his findings.
The study found that every 25,000 re-tweets by accounts connected to the IRA predicted a 1 percent increase in opinion polls for Trump.
But by the authors of the study’s own admission, their research proves exactly nothing about anything.
“In an interview with NBC News, Ruck said the research suggests that Russian trolls helped shift U.S public opinion in Trump’s favor. As to whether it affected the outcome of the election: ‘The answer is that we still don’t know, but we can’t rule it out,’” reports NBC.
Uh-huh. And how much did an avalanche of fake, biased U.S. media news about Trump affect the election, we wonder?