The New York Times obtained an advanced copy of the report that was released on Monday, and it found that a Russian-backed team used an array of tactics to suppress turnout among Democrats through social media outlets, especially Instagram and Facebook.
In response, the NAACP called on Congress to conduct additional investigations into Facebook. Derrick Johnson, the organization’s president and CEO, told NewsOne that the report added urgency to its “LogOut Facebook” digital protest planned for Dec. 18.
“We’re raising awareness about an attack on Black and brown users, which Facebook was in part complicit with. The Russian interference during the 2016 election called into question the integrity of the voting processes that took place, and overwhelmingly, people of color have suffered the most as a result of that election,” he stated.
A U.S. Senate committee commissioned the study that was produced by New Knowledge, a cybersecurity company based in Austin, Texas, along with researchers at Columbia University and Canfield Research LLC.
The efforts through Facebook and Instagram focused on developing Black audiences and disproportionately recruited unwitting African-American activists who were sometimes paid to stage rallies to create turmoil.
“As Russia takes aim at African-American voters, we can’t ignore the fact that people of color remain the primary targets for voter suppression schemes right here on American soil. In setting its main target on African Americans, Russia is taking a page out of the U.S. voter suppression playbook; by allowing voter suppression domestically, we send a dangerous message to bad actors such as Russia that Black votes don’t matter,” Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said.
America’s long history of suppressing the Black vote also impacted the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. For example, after the Republican-led statehouse in Wisconsin changed its voter registration law mandating stricter identification, more than 200,000 voters, mostly African Americans, were not able to vote, according to a study from Priorities USA that was reported in The Nation.
The progressive voting rights organization found that Wisconsin’s voter-ID law reduced turnout by 200,000 votes. Trump won the state by only 22,748 votes.
A St. Petersburg company called the Internet Research Agency operated the influence campaign. It was owned by businessman Yevgeny V. Prigozhin who has a close connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The company created a dozen fake websites using names that would appeal to African Americans, such as blackmattersus.com, blacktivist.info, blacktolive.org and blacksoul.us. It operated a YouTube channel that covered the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality.
On Facebook, ads targeted users who showed an interest in certain topics like Black history or the Black Panther Party.
The NAACP called for its digital protest of Facebook ahead of Monday’s release of the report. Over the past year, the organization said it expressed concern about the company’s multiple data and privacy breaches, as well as the lack of employee diversity at large tech companies.
“We’re holding Facebook accountable for the role it played in the proliferation of propaganda against people of color. The hackers preyed on the vulnerability of racial tensions in America, and Facebook fed them our information on a silver platter. As a corporation, Facebook needs to acknowledge this negligence, and we’re empowering people to use #LogOutFacebook as a means to express their discontent,” Johnson stated.
Pastor John Gray Responds To Lamborghini Controversy And Twitter Reacts
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I don’t own a Lamborghini. I own a Chevy truck. Yet I can identify with Pastor John Gray, who is making headlines bc he gifted his wife a Lamborghini. These days it feels like our fav past time is finding faults in others and celebrating them. https://t.co/PvWH7TPIdn— Brian Tome (@BrianTome) December 14, 2018
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Folks, if you are sacrificially giving money to this church in order to bring hope to your community, I suggest you find another church. "Pastor John Gray draws flak for gifting wife $200K Lamborghini Urus for anniversary" https://t.co/UDa1fEbpry— Dee Parsons (@wartwatch) December 11, 2018
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And people will forego rent, bills, food etc. to keep lining these grifter's pockets. Blessings from god my ass. https://t.co/euDbuCceT8— Portia Vaxxed and Boosted McGonagal (@PortiaMcGonagal) December 12, 2018
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organized religion is a scam and anyone who can not see that deserves to be taken for all they have... https://t.co/Tvm4UkACBU— Teel James Glenn (@teeljamesglenn) December 14, 2018
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I am not upset.— Ervin Lee (@ervinlee09) December 14, 2018
I pray for him and his family.
As a follower of Jesus, I believe the way it was done and presented to the world feeds the narrative of "Pimp Preachers".
May God Bless You.
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I love Pastor #JohnGray! Keep living your BEST life, don't go back and forth with these ninjas!— Shep Crawford (@ShepCrawford) December 14, 2018
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Anniversary Gifts By Year— Dan Ponce (@DanPonce) December 14, 2018
4th: Fruit or Flowers
6th: Candy or Iron
7th: Wool or Copper
- according to Hallmark (#1-7) and Pastor John Gray (#8)
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here is a good example of, why i don't belong to anyone's church, don't need a middle person to tell me how to believe;— Maria Giner (@MariaGiner5) December 14, 2018
With tears, megachurch Pastor John Gray defends $200K Lamborghini anniversary gift to wife https://t.co/DhUkFWHizB
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How about the pastor John Gray who gave his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini for their anniversity. Thats really preaching. Why people think he is the way is beyond me. Are they all mindless sheep?— Stuart Groten (@StuartGroten) December 14, 2018
Global Voter Suppression Efforts Against Black Americans Are Confirmed In New Report was originally published on newsone.com