Russian Agents Pretend To Be Woke To Sows Seeds Of Racial Division Online
Just how much the work of Russian actors affected the 2016 election is unclear. Recently, however, it has come to light that Russians bought ads on Facebook that looked to sway the political opinions of several groups in specific cities and states.
Now, according to CNN, Facebook and Twitter have discovered that a popular pro-black account, Blacktivist, was controlled by Russian actors believed to be employed by the Russian government.
The two social networks have shut the Blacktivist accounts down.
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Before it was shuttered, Blacktivist regularly posted woke messages, including things about the school-to-prison pipeline, police brutality and the killings of black men.
The Blacktivist page on Facebook had over 350,000 likes before it was shut down, and promoted several real-life rallies, marches and celebrations, including a march for Freddie Gray and the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party.
The accounts were linked to a mysterious Russian group believed to have ties to the Kremlin. Some officials believe that the accounts wanted to stir up racial tensions and division in the United States.
Part of what raised suspicions was the awkward usage of English both accounts sometimes featured.
For instance, the Facebook account's “About” section read: "Black community welcomes you! We want to bring peace in life of our brothers and sisters!"
It’s unclear when the Facebook account was set up, but the Twitter account was created in April 2016. CNN has confirmed that the accounts were active as recently as last month.
The Twitter account has been handed over to Congress for review; the Facebook account fate is expected to meet the same fate soon.