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Russian Mafia Outsourcing To Africa To Spark US Racial Tensions

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Social media platforms Facebook and Twitter have deleted accounts being run out of Africa that were allegedly running disinformation campaigns sponsored by individuals with links to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) focused against the United States.

The Russia-backed online troll campaigns were posed as accounts belonging to white people and posted targeting African Americans. Most of the accounts were created in the second half of 2019 and the content they generated addressed issues around race, particularly tensions between black and white Americans

The campaign was based out of Ghana and Nigeria, marking Russia’s latest attempt to obfuscate how it’s working to sow discord on U.S. soil by propping up volunteers and workers from foreign nations.

Facebook detected 49 Facebook accounts, 69 Facebook Pages with about 13,500 followers and 85 Instagram accounts with 265,000 followers that were participating in the campaign.

On Twitter,  71 accounts linked to the Russian-run operations in Ghana and Nigeria spread similar messages in an effort to “sow discord by engaging in conversations about social issues, like race and civil rights.”

Since 2016, when Russian trolls successfully manipulated the world’s largest social media networks to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, the tech industry has been on high alert to defend against foreign interference from Russia and other hostile foreign actors. Twitter, Facebook and Google have poured enormous resources and energy into detecting and removing influence campaigns, which often involve posts about divisive topics and bunk news stories. – the hill


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