Russian-Linked Facebook Accounts Encouraging Violence Against Minorities
Since last fall, multiple Facebook accounts with Russian links have encouraged violence against various political as well as social groups in America such as Black Lives Matter, police officers, and undocumented immigrants toying with political, religious, and racial agendas.
According to CNN reports, three of these Russian Internet Research Agency-created accounts, that have now been removed, set out agendas triggering vehemence between fundamentally opposing groups.
One such group named “Being Patriotic” with over 200,000 followers was a regular contributor towards Trump’s presidential campaign. In April 2016, the group targeted Black Lives Matter activists stating that those who disrespect the flag must “be immediately shot”.
Another group named “Blacktivist,” in November 2016, quoted “Black people have to do something. An eye for an eye. The law enforcement officers keep harassing and killing us without consequences.”
The most ferocious oratory was brought forth by a group named “Secured Borders.” In March 2017, the group stated, “The only way to deal with them is to kill them all.” Various posts on the group had posts from contributors such as “if you get deported that’s your only warning. You come back you get shot and rolled into a ditch… BANG, problem solved”. Regarding refugees, a post on the group said, “The state department needs to be burned to the ground and the rubble reduced to ashes.”
Mark R. Jacobson, a professor at Georgetown University and an expert on Russian influence operations quoted, “The Russians don’t want groups like Black Lives Matter [and] the Alt-Right to sit there and have discussions and debates about the future of America. They want violent clashes.”
Albright from Columbia University said, “These posts contained psychological calls to action toward both online and physical behavior.”
Executives from various social media platforms have publically acknowledged Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections. Tech companies and social media are now under intense investigation following the revelations.