Published On: Wed, Sep 27th, 2017

Washington Post: Russia used Facebook ads to get Muslim support for Hillary Clinton, ‘sow discord among religious groups’

The more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads on Facebook will be handed over to Congress, proving their efforts to stir trouble Black Lives Matter movement and the Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The Monday report confirms the Russian operatives were sending contradictory messages to different users based on their politics and demographics.

The Washington Post reported the mission also “sought to sow discord among religious groups. Other ads highlighted support for Democrat Hillary Clinton among Muslim women.”

Investigators for Facebook, Congress and the Justice Department were troubled by the scope of the campaign, sources told the paper.

photo/Gerd Altmann

The House and Senate intelligence committees will scrutinize Facebook as they try to untangle the operationand other matters as they look at Russia’s effort to help elect Donald Trump in 2016.

“Their aim was to sow chaos,” Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the paper.

“In many cases, it was more about voter suppression rather than increasing turnout.”

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he hoped the ads would be made public.

“I think the American people should see a representative sample of these ads to see how cynical the Russian were using these ads to sow division within our society,” he said, noting that he had not yet seen the ads but had been briefed on them, including the ones about Black Lives Matter.

Facebook identified at least $100,000 in ads purchased through 470 phony pages and accounts.

The ads suggest that Russian operatives worked off evolving lists of racial, religious, political and economic themes.

“They used these to create pages, write posts and craft ads that would appear in users’ news feeds — with the apparent goal of appealing to one audience and alienating another,” the paper reported.

“The idea of using Facebook to incite anti-black hatred and anti-Muslim prejudice and fear while provoking extremism is an old tactic.

“It’s not unique to the United States and it’s a global phenomenon,” said Malkia Cyril, a Black Lives Matter activist in Oakland.

Social media companies “have a mandate to stand up and take deep responsibility for how their platforms are being abused,” Cyril said.

Facebook declined to comment on the contents of the ads being turned over to congressional investigators and pointed to a Sept. 6 statement by Alex Stamos, the company’s chief security officer, who noted that the vast majority of the ads run by the 470 pages and accounts did not specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting or any particular candidate.

“Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights,” ­Stamos said at the time.

photo/ donkeyhotey


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Hassain says:

    “Facebook was always anti-Trump” Yes it is true; we have been observing that since long time and seen so many anti trump posts in Facebook from different users.

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