According to a federal indictment unveiled on Friday, Russians who pretended to be Americans while participating in online political discourse during the last few years committed a bunch of felonies. Whether they accomplished anything else of significance is by no means clear, Jacob Sullum says, notwithstanding all the scary talk about "information warfare" that supposedly undermined our democratic institutions and interfered with the electoral process.
The New York Times, which last year breathlessly claimed that "Russia Harvested American Rage to Reshape U.S. Politics," reports that Donald Trump's "admirers and detractors" both agree with him that "the Russians intended to sow chaos" and "have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams." A Times editorial assures skeptics that "the Russian subversion effort" was "sophisticated" and "breathtaking" in scope.
The only thing breathtaking about this influence campaign, Sullum says, is the hyperventilation of the alarmists who talk as if we are just a few angry tweets from the abyss.