I have always thought the narrative on meddling was a political tool used to criminalize actions of groups interested in influencing voters using public, legal methods of communication such as Facebook. While the idea of Russians trying to affect an American election using social media is unsavory, the fact is they simply identified and exploited a means to communicate with voters and when Hillary lost, it became an easy way place blame for her loss.
During last year's election for a Senate seat between Roy Moore and Doug Jones in Alabama, there were a lot of outside influences working to get Doug Jones elected - Hollywood actors, PACs, the mainstream media, etc. I asked the question - what is the difference between non-Alabama based organizations attempting to influence an election and the Russians trying to influence an American election? To me, it's all meddling. The people of Alabama - not Hollywood actors, PACs, the mainstream media (outside of Alabama), etc - should be the the ones choosing their Senator.
Now there's news that billionaire Reid Hoffman - the co-founder of LinkedIn - funded a group that falsely tried to give an impression the Russian government was supporting Alabama Republican Roy Moore during last year's election. Hoffman apologized for his role in that effort yesterday.
The disinformation campaign Hoffman funded perpetuated voter's fears about Russian meddling. In other words, Hoffman exploited the "Russian meddling" narrative in his own election meddling. He politicized the meddling narrative for his own political gain. So what actions are being taken to stop American meddling? If the Russians did what Hoffman did, an apology would be insufficient - there would be sanctions and consequences. If it's a crime for Russians, why isn't it a crime for Hoffman?