The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Russians boasted that just 1% of fake social profiles are caught, leak shows

By Joseph Menn

16 Apr 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

The Post reports on leaked documents that suggest Russia's ability to spread disinformation on social media and search engines has improved dramatically in recent years.

SAN FRANCISCO - The Russian government has become far more successful at manipulating social media and search engine rankings than previously known, boosting lies about Ukraine's military and the side effects of vaccines with hundreds of thousands of fake online accounts, according to documents recently leaked on the chat app Discord.

The Russian operators of those accounts boast that they are detected by social networks only about 1 percent of the time, one document says.

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