More than a few commenters on this blog have dismissed Russia's Facebook ad campaign as a load of hooey, meaningless pap.
To relieve them of their profound ignorance and/or stupidity, I'll invite them to follow this link to today's Washington Post.
Lawmakers on Wednesday released a trove of ads that Russian operatives bought on Facebook, providing the fullest picture yet of how foreign actors sought to promote Republican Donald Trump, denigrate Democrat Hillary Clinton and divide Americans over some of the nation’s most sensitive social issues.
The ads that emerged, a sampling of the 3,000 that Russians bought during the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath, demonstrated in words and images a striking ability to mimic American political discourse at its most fractious. The targeting information also showed a shrewd understanding of how best to use Facebook to find and influence voters most likely to respond to the pitches.
As a group, the ads made visceral appeals to voters upset about illegal immigration, black political activism, the declining economic fortunes of coal miners, gun ownership, African American political activisms, the rising prominence of Muslims in some U.S. communities and many other issues. Some ads, many of which were bought in Russian rubles, also explicitly called for people to attend political rallies amid a campaign season that already was among the most polarizing in recent U.S. history.
Do yourself a favour and read the whole article. It is stomach churning to see how the Russians played to, and upon, racism, bigotry and every base instinct with which Trump's base is identified. And it worked.