#13Russians: Underwhelmed netizens react to US indictment over election meddling
Reactions from internet users to the underwhelming US indictment over alleged Russian collusion during the 2016 election range from the absurd to the laughable.
Following Friday’s revelation that a US federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for allegedly interfering with the US 2016 election, many thought they would finally get the answers they have been searching for.
Don't forget that most of these guys aren't some KGB dark arts geniuses, they're underpaid journalists from failing local news outlets with their careers going down the drain, the Internet Research Agency being the only place that would still employ them. https://t.co/Zc8QZGI0H2— Alexey Kovalev (@Alexey__Kovalev) February 16, 2018
However, the indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller includes no allegations that any of the ‘interference’ actually influenced the outcome of the election at all.
Already seeing Hillbots tweeting Russia "inflated" size of @SenSanders movement & it wasn't as big as reported. I covered 40-50 rallies and events, several with 30-40k in attendance. There was nothing inflated about #FeeltheBern. Only inflation is bullshit that will now be spun— Jordan (@JordanChariton) February 16, 2018
The indictment does accuse the defendants (now affectionately referred to as the #13Russians) of forming an organization known as the Internet Research Agency. A group which they say "sought, in part, to conduct what it called 'information warfare against the United States of America' through fictitious US personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media."
As the reality of what has happened starts to set in on Democrats, that President Donald Trump will not be impeached or indicted and there was no collusion, it will be a bigger meltdown than Election Day. #RodRosenstein#13Russians.— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) February 16, 2018
The group is accused of "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump...and disparaging Hillary Clinton." However, the indictment also found the group was established in May 2014, long before President Donald Trump announced his intention to run for office. It also states that after Trump’s inauguration, the group scheduled rallies both for and against the newly elected president.
Interesting: Mueller's investigation finds Russians also organized AGAINST Trump as well as for him pic.twitter.com/uQAfiR5Z1J— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) February 16, 2018
In essence, the highly anticipated evidence of Russian collusion, which has plagued the headlines of every mainstream news organization for more than a year, was underwhelming for several reasons.
1. The entire ‘operation’ consisted of 13 people and some of their alleged activities are, let’s say, humorous.
Also LOLing at the allegation that Irina Kaverzina effectively wrote to her family: "Sorry I'm late. Got caught up destroying evidence at work!" pic.twitter.com/zOQIpLd57x— Raphael Satter (@razhael) February 16, 2018
This is genius. These guys deserve an award. pic.twitter.com/7cojakv1pr— Alexey Kovalev (@Alexey__Kovalev) February 16, 2018
FBI be busy chasing #13Russians and texting lovers but no time to prevent tragedies with warning signs like Las Vegas and Nicolas cruz, when warned months before. FBI was weaponized by Obama admin and actively tried to tamper elections. Why do we have an FBI again?— PinkAboutIt 🇺🇸 (@Pink_About_it) February 16, 2018
2. US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there are “no allegations” that the suspected activities actually affected the polls.
3. The over-dramatisation of Russian interference in this election cannot be overstated.
My Facebook page reaches 9 million people a week. And that’s a slow week. But the Russian trolls reached 59 *thousand* and somehow altered an election? Some of y’all in the media don’t understand social media analytics at all. pic.twitter.com/IbJAw3d3OX— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) February 16, 2018
it's insane. The spend alone was not enough to move the needle for a small operation, let alone one big enough to influence a national election. Folks covering this are so dumb it hurts.— Jordan S. Terry (@The_Analyst) February 16, 2018
Mueller just indicted a bunch of Russians for setting up fake social media accounts and buying Facebook ads to say nasty things about Hillary online How anyone can miss the massive prosecutorial overreach and blatant First Amendment implications of this is beyond me— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) February 16, 2018
Another way of looking at this: Trolls sure have come a long way from that guy flaming you on your list serve. https://t.co/QgmbpkH4xv— David Filipov (@davidfilipov) February 16, 2018
Oh, and there’s also this:
The chances of Russia handing these people over is roughly 0%.— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) February 16, 2018
Moscow has repeatedly refuted claims of alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin also ridiculed such claims, suggesting that the US was “not a banana republic” to be treated that way.