Head of Policy and Research Jessica Brandt joined the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab and the Free Russia Foundation for Adapting and Evolving: Russian Foreign Interference, a conversation on Russia’s interference in U.S. domestic politics and the launch of Free Russia Foundation’s report, The Kremlin’s Social Media Influence inside the United States: A Moving Target.
The Kremlin’s malign, online influence campaigns targeting domestic audiences in the US have changed dramatically since 2016. Russian operatives deployed new ways to conceal the identity of Kremlin proxies and adapted to take advantage of the increasingly polarized information environment in the United States. The Free Russia Foundation study, which surveys the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 Presidential elections, concluded that the Pro-Russian actors opportunistically amplified the growing political polarization and disinformation produced by domestic actors. To track foreign interference during the 2020 election, the DFRLab launched Interference 2020, a data visualization which showed foreign interference attributions, and their reception in both mainstream, and social media and digital communications. Interference 2020 continues to serve as a resource for stakeholders about the evolving threat and help to build public resilience against future efforts of foreign influence and disinformation.