Instagram Was More Effective Than Facebook at Spreading Russian Misinformation: Report

Instagram was much more effective at spreading Russian misinformation than Facebook or Twitter, according to a report presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee and cited Monday by Bloomberg News. The report, prepared by researchers from New Knowledge, Columbia University and Canfield Research, noted that Instagram drove 187 million interactions with content from Russian troll farm and misinformation spreader the Internet Research Agency between 2015 and 2018, while Facebook only drove 77 million. Twitter was even less effective, delivering only 73 million content interactions. The report warned that history will likely repeat itself, and that Instagram could play a major role in attempts to influence the 2020 elections.

“Instagram was a significant front in the IRA’s influence operation, something that Facebook executives appear to have avoided mentioning in Congressional testimony,” the report argued. “Our assessment is that Instagram is likely to be a key battleground on an ongoing basis.” The report also found that the Internet Research Agency disproportionately worked to influence black American voters ahead of the election, The New York Times reported Monday.