Pinterest acknowledges Russia-linked political posts appeared on the site


Pinterest, the social media website known for bookmarking recipes or fashion ideas, was used to spread Russia-linked political posts during the 2016 presidential election.

Pinterest became a repository for political posts created by Russians actors after other users on the web “pinned” the content to the scrapbook-like site, the company acknowledged to The Washington Post on Wednesday.

{mosads}It does not appear that the Russian operatives posted directly on the site, but their presence on Pinterest grew as users unknowingly bookmarked the Russian propaganda to their online boards.

“We believe the fake Facebook content was so sophisticated that it tricked real Americans into saving it to Pinterest,” Pinterest head of public policy Charlie Hale told the newspaper. “We’ve removed the content brought to our attention and continue to investigate.”

Pinterest follows a string of other companies that were used in Moscow’s disinformation campaign, including Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Facebook revealed last week that Moscow purchased online ads that specifically targeted swing states such as Michigan and Wisconsin as well as particular demographic groups in an attempt to influence the presidential election.

Roughly 10 million Facebook users saw the ads purchased by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency, the social media company said.

Russian actors also reportedly used Google and Twitter in their efforts to meddle in the election. Twitter has already suspended more than 200 accounts tied to the Internet Research Agency.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Google’s Russia-linked ads popped up on some of its other owned platforms including YouTube and Gmail.

Multiple congressional panels, as well as an independent Justice Department probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller, are looking into the extent and success Russia achieved in attempts to influence the country during the run up to last year’s election.

The House panel also announced Wednesday their plans to release Facebook ads purchased during the election.


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