First Advisor

Mary Chase

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Communication Studies and University Honors




Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 2016, Mass media -- Political aspects -- United States -- 21st century, Communication in politics, Information theory




This paper is a qualitative analysis of news reports, broadcast media, tweets, posts, memes, books, biographies and textbooks which uncovers how technology was used to filter through millions of American voters, create or exploit ideological divisions, customize and deliver propaganda via fake news to dramatically sway the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Election. Russian interests were able to exploit social media networks, to deliver customized messaging designed to leverage communication theory common to the social sciences to demonize a candidate and possibly install the highest ranking foreign asset in the history of The United States of America. All of this was accomplished while US security services were aware that the attack was underway. Understanding what happened is essential for the long-term viability of democracy in the information age.


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