If you wrote out a list of the most important factors in the 2016 election, I'm not sure that Russian social media memes would be among the top 100. The scale was quite small and there's not much evidence that they were effective.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 18, 2018
If the remarkably inexpensive social media propaganda effort was effective, it would mean the end of all major mass media. Billions of dollars were spent on mass media advertising by U.S. presidential candidates, while just a few million was spent by Russia-based social media propagandists. If the latter was effective, we are saying that regular advertising is dead.