Friday briefing: These are the Russian ads that tried to influence US politics

Internet Research Agency ads sought to influence US politics

Your WIRED daily briefing. Today, the United States House Intelligence Committee has released thousands of Russian ads intended to influence US politics, a new study links Hurricane Harvey to climate change, malicious Chrome extensions infected over 100,000 users and more.

Democrat members of the United States House Intelligence Committee have released over 3,500 Facebook ads published by Russian political advertising firm Internet Research Agency in an attempt to disrupt US politics and the country’s 2016 presidential election (TechCrunch). The ads disproportionately targeted political margins, particularly oppressed minorities such as black and LGBT+ citizens, and right-wing groups such as Christian fundamentalists, nationalists and Texas state secessionists. Democrat Adam Schiff tweeted that: “They sought to harness Americans’ very real frustrations and anger over sensitive political matters to influence our thinking, voting and behavior.”

New research surrounding last year’s Hurricane Harvey, which caused catastrophic flooding and damage in the United States and across the Caribbean, has for the first time shown a link between the volume of rain over land at the amount of water evaporated from a warming ocean (Phys.org). Lead author Kevin Trenbert says that: “The implication is that the warmer oceans increased the risk of greater hurricane intensity and duration. While we often think of hurricanes as atmospheric phenomena, it’s clear that the oceans play a critical role and will shape future storms as the climate changes.”

Malicious Chrome extensions…

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