Russian Meddling Targets African American Voters In US Elections
Two Senate-commissioned reports revealed that African American voters were among the biggest targets in Russian disinformation campaigns.
We now know more about Russia's political meddling than ever before, thanks to two Senate-commissioned reports. And one of the biggest targets was African American voters.
The Internet Research Agency, or IRA, led the disinformation campaign, and it used just about every social media platform it could access. But the two reports focus mostly on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Many of the ads and posts targeting African-Americans tried to divert them away from political involvement. Posts would urge them to boycott the election or vote for a third party candidate, presumably hoping to draw votes away from Hillary Clinton.
Looking at the numbers, of the five most re-tweeted IRA accounts on Twitter, four focused on African Americans. On Facebook, the IRA bought ads targeting black Americans more than any other audience group. And those ads represent 40 percent of the IRA's total ad impressions. And 96 percent of the content posted on YouTube was related to Black Lives Matter and police brutality.
One of the researchers told The New York Times the IRA's campaign didn't create the political, racial or cultural issues in America, but it certainly exploited them.
Both reports concluded that the main goal of the IRA's campaign was to benefit then-candidate and now President Donald Trump. And the effort is still "active and ongoing."
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