Mueller Report states craigslist used by Russians during election

Mueller Report states craigslist used by Russians during election

It’s been no secret that Russians tried to influence the 2016 Presidential Election. Their attempts to use social media to try to sow discord among Americans has been well documented. Facebook, Twitter, and many other platforms had to deal with the army of bots used by foreign actors leading up to the election. With the release of the redacted Mueller report, we can see for ourselves the lengths Russians went to in trying to interfere with the election. But would you believe that one of the tools they used was craigslist?

TechCrunch is reporting that in the Mueller Report it states that Russia used craigslist in the US in order to recruit people for their misinformation campaigns.

The Russian influence operations included things like recruiting individuals to walk around New York City “dressed up as Santa Claus with a Trump mask” (the relevant section is on page 32 of the Mueller report). Craigslist may have also been used in other schemes — like hiring a self-defense instructor to offer classes sponsored by a Russian operative working under the persona “Black Fist” to teach African-Americans how to protect themselves in encounters with law enforcement.

This should come as no surprise as craigslist has long been a haven for hate speech and political agitation. Material that craigslist does little to discourage. As we have seen, many platforms allow this kind of behavior from users since it’s believed to increase engagement. Facebook has been accused of using similar tactics to keep users engaged as their userbase is reportedly plateauing.

Was craigslist a willing tool for the Russians. No, not at all. However, craigslist has a history of turning a blind eye to foreign placed ads.