Some of the political ads within Facebook that are associated with Russia, was focused on two so-called swing state – Michigan and Wisconsin, voting results in the elections which were crucial to the victory of the current President of the United States Donald trump. About it reports CNN with reference to four sources familiar with the situation.
According to them, some of the promotional posts were very sophisticated. They were aimed at key demographic groups living in these States. Text publications were designed to sow divisions in society, including through the use of anti-Muslim sentiment.
American media also failed to learn more about some of the groups in Facebook, which was associated advertisement, allegedly paid for by Russia. “There was Defend the 2nd (“Defend the Second amendment to the Constitution”), the Facebook page for supporters of the rights of possession of the weapon, decorated with images of firearms and tough rhetoric. There was painted in the colors of the rainbow LGBT United is a page for activists in support of gay rights. There was even a group in Facebook for animal lovers with adorable puppies meme that spread through the site with paid advertising,” the article says The New York Times, the translation of which publishes InoPressa.
Page Secured Borders frequently abused illegal immigration, while Blacktivisit was on the side of the movement Black Lives Matters (opposed violence against blacks), writes The Wall Street Journal.
“In each case, the writers were pretending to be Americans and pretend to speak on behalf of citizens-adherents: fanatics opposed to the struggle of migrants, supporters of the rights of gun ownership, African-American activists and, more incongruous, dog lovers,” he told The New York Times, two persons familiar with models of advertising.
On one allegedly purchased by Russia advertising publications that Facebook handed over to investigators in Congress, have photographs of armed black woman, and carrying an unloaded rifle, sources told the American newspaper The Washington Post.
Investigators believe that advertising can be designed to encourage African-American to become militant and at the same time to incite fear in white communities, told the authors of the sources on condition of anonymity.
Divisive posts appeared until August 2017
Allegedly associated with the Russian Federation accounts sown the split messages till August this year, according to stored versions of previously deleted pages, writes The Wall Street Journal in another article.
“Facebook-page Secured the Borders, which, according to the social networking giant, bought ads during the presidential campaign last year, after the elections, the post calls to kill Muslims and called illegal immigrants “rapists, murderers, child-molesters”, according preserved in the cached version. A man who knows this Facebook page, confirmed its authenticity and the authenticity of the remaining three pages,” the article says (translation site InoPressa).
In the same month page Borders Secured census from the site the Blacksphere article Democrates ARE White Nationalists in Charlottesville (“the Democrats ARE white nationalists in Charlottesville”) with the comment: “Charlottesville, VA – the swamp. We are on the brink of a new civil war.”
The four accounts that remained active until the end of August – Secured Borders, Blacktivist, Heart of Texas, Being Patriotic (“Secure borders,” “Black activist”, “Heart of Texas” and “to Be a patriot”), was nearly a million subscribers when Facebook deleted them because their creators were impersonating someone else.
Facebook admitted that they could not disclose all the malicious attempts to interfere in the American political process. Most of the ads were about social issues such as LGBT rights, immigration, racism and the right to possess firearms, and did not affect directly any of the presidential candidates, which is particularly challenging for their calculation, according to Facebook.
Swing States were key to victory trump
Recall that Michigan and Wisconsin are called swing States because they have no clear advantages, neither the Republican party nor the Democrats. The outcome of the vote they held in November last year, the presidential election remained unclear until the last moment. As a result, the victory in these States was won by the Republican trump.
In Michigan, it surpassed its main rival – Hillary Clinton – only 10.7 thousand votes out of nearly 4.8 million ballots, and in Wisconsin – 22.7 thousand votes. The resulting advantage was less than 1%, but was the key to victory trump and his election as head of state.
After the elections, the US has initiated an investigation of alleged Russian interference in the election campaign. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and Congress are trying to figure out whether Russia has any tips from the partners of trump on how to better target ads.
In early September, Facebook saidthat the accounts that are associated with Russia, within two years of buying political advertising, including the front passed in the November 2016 presidential election in the United States. According to the company, from June 2015 to may 2017 470 such accounts spent about 100 thousand dollars for three thousand advertising messages that could influence the outcome of the vote.
The company also found a waste of 50 thousand dollars to 2.2 million messages potentially related to Russia. According to Facebook, only the audience of such ads made up about 10 million people. 44% of ads were viewed to the U.S. presidential elections held November 8, 2016, and the remaining 56% – after the vote.
In mid-September a Facebook user passed the information to sell ads to spectacular USA Robert Mueller, who heads the investigation of possible relations between Moscow and members of the campaign staff of President Donald trump. Later, the U.S. Senate sent a request to Facebook to obtain additional information.
Meanwhile, the founder of the social network mark Zuckerberg announced that the company actively cooperates with American officials and helps them in the investigation. Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, commenting on accusations, said that the Kremlin has no relation to the placement of political advertising on the social network and does not know who is behind this. In turn, the President of Donald trump has called “the hoax” information about the acquisition of the Russian authorities on political advertising in Facebook.