Russia Uses Facebook to Undermine Dakota Access Pipeline, Other US Energy Projects


Russian agents working to undermine America’s fossil fuel industry use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools to spread propaganda and try to turn U.S. public opinion against domestic energy production, according to a new congressional report.

The report found that between 2015 and 2017, “an estimated 9,097 Russian posts or tweets regarding U.S. energy policy or a current energy event,” such as approval of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, appeared on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

In addition, 4,334 social media accounts connected to a Russian agency that manipulates media platforms spread across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the report says.

After reviewing documents sought last fall from the American social media companies, investigators with the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology found that Russian agents made a concerted effort to exploit social media platforms with messaging aimed at disrupting U.S. energy markets, the report released Thursday says.

“This report reveals that Russian agents created and spread propaganda on U.S. social media platforms in an obvious attempt to influence the U.S. energy market,” committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said in a written statement on Russia President Vladimir Putin’s motives.

‘Exploiting’ Social Media

In September, Smith sent letters requesting information from Facebook and Twitter. …read more