Stay Woke: Facebook’s Russian Trolls Targeted The Black Vote

CBx Vibe:The Watcher” Dr. Dre Feat. Eminem & Knoc-Turn’al

By Justin Moore

  • Russian trolls targeted Black Americans the most in 2016
  • Facebook with its $17.4B in annual ad sales will allow political ads in 2020

The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee recently released a report stating that Black voters were the single largest demographic target of Russian trolls in the 2016 presidential election. These Trolls used fake social media accounts on platforms like Facebook (FB +2.07%) to publish racialized content, urging Black voters to not vote for Hillary, not vote at all, or to vote for third party candidate Jill Stein. Will there be more done by congress to protect this demographic, since they are the largest social media user group ahead of the next presidential election or will Facebook just keeping raking in million of dollars in ad revenues?

Why This Matters: Although there is a bipartisan bill in Congress to provide transparency about who is behind an ad, not much has changed since 2016 with each social media platform regulating themselves as the 2020 presidential election looms. Twitter (TWTR +3.19%) has banned ads based on political issues but Facebook, with its $17.4 billion in annual ad revenue has not, leaving users vulnerable to race targeted ads aimed to sow political and racial division.

During the 2016 election posts from Russian trolls included messages such as “Our Votes Don’t Matter”

During the 2016 election posts from Russian trolls included messages such as “Our Votes Don’t Matter” and even evoked images of Eric Garner, the New York man who was killed in a policeman’s chokehold. Furthermore, to help illustrate the wide scope of influence of social media ads, candidates in the Democratic 2020 presidential primary spent more money on Facebook ads than television ads as of October 2019.

Situational Awareness: We live in a time when Facebook is experiencing a high growth of users over the age of 65 which is thought to be a traditionally consistent voting block. Votes from this demographic have proven to be extremely valuable and it’s especially important for Black Facebook users to be vigilant about disinformation ad campaigns, even if the government won’t be.

CBx Vibe:The Watcher” Dr. Dre Feat. Eminem & Knoc-Turn’al

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