When Russia’s interference with the 2016 United States presidential election was investigated by the U.S. government and Facebook, they discovered something alarming.
Accounts disguised as Black people were being dispatched across social media to target YOU.
These imposter bots posed as political influencers to persuade Black voters to GIVE UP their collective power as a key voting bloc that could determine the fate of the nation.
According to Black Enterprise’s report summary, Russia’s whole motivation was to suppress Black voters (especially women) by using a “front” profile that tried hard to pass as an authentic Black voice.
Once they gained access to users' feeds and friends lists, these bots deflected serious criticism of President Trump and spread misinformation around “manipulated topics such as Hillary Clinton’s ‘super predator’ comment from 1996; and issues related to race and policing, immigration, and guns.”
With important races happening on a local, state, and federal levels in 2019 and 2020, we have to exercise caution with who and what informs our ballot choices.
To spot a fake account, be wary of users who make authoritative claims without citing sources, have unusually high follower counts yet receive little to no interactive comments or shares, and who use stereotypical slang that feels insincere.
Most importantly, remember that there are powerful forces dedicated to keeping you and your crew silenced throughout the political process.
This upcoming election is no different.