The Russian government has been linked to a black activist social media campaign promoted during the 2016 presidential campaign on both Facebook and Twitter, a new report by CNN reveals.
The fake campaign, called “Blacktivist”, reportedly sought to increase racial tensions during the presidential election, publicizing at least seven rallies and demonstrations around the country such as the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party.
The campaign’s Facebook account had 360,000 likes, more than the verified Black Lives Matter account, according to CNN.
CNN’s report is further evidence of Russia’s use of social media to fuel racial tensions and divide voters on hot-button issues during the 2016 election.
The news of Russia’s link to the account follows a report by The Washington Post this week that Facebook ads promoting civil rights groups during the election cycle were also linked to the Russian government.
Facebook is handing over some 3,000 ads to congressional investigators as part of probes into the Kremlin’s alleged effort to influence the outcome of last year’s presidential election.
According to Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain Facebook under fire over Russian ads in election MORE (Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, many of the ads were “about voter suppression rather than increasing turnout.”
Other ads allegedly highlighted Hillary Clinton‘s support among Muslim women and promoted anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant messages.