Race and racism continue to be a pivotal issue in American politics, and there’s no question it will matter in this year’s elections.
Just like the last go-around in 2016, outside actors are leaning on this Achille’s heel of the U.S. to sow disinformation ahead of Election Day in November—and they are laser focused on the Black community.
In a new report on its activities to curb “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” social media giant Facebook revealed that last month it removed 35 Facebook accounts and over 90 Instagram accounts and pages originating in Romania but pushing content about U.S. politics.
The Romania-based bots often posted about African Americans being in support of the Trump campaign and also frequently re-shared content from the Trump campaign itself, said Facebook. One of the pages went by the handle “BlackPeopleVoteForTrump” (LOL).
Facebook’s head of security Nathaniel Gleicher said the motivations of the troll farm behind the numerous accounts is unclear, reports NBC, though to me it seems fairly obvious.
Troll farms — groups of people that work together to manipulate internet discourse with fake accounts — are often outsourced and purchased by foreign governments or businesses to push specific political talking points. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said the troll farm’s motivations were unclear, but they didn’t see “clear evidence of financial motivation” or “clear links to known commercial actors in this space.”
Facebook stressed that the takedowns were based on “behavior, not content,” like breaking rules against creating fake accounts to boost engagement on some pieces of content.
Trump in office equals America falling further into ignominy on the global stage. That’s enough motivation—not to mention the massive return on the investment from meddling into U.S. elections our nation’s enemies have already earned 160,000 times over...and counting.
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