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The 'Blacktivist' campaign during the 2016 election was linked to Russia's government



A social media campaign known as “Blacktivist” that appeared during the 2016 presidential election has been linked to Russia’s government, according to CNN Money.

CNN Money on Thursday reported that the campaign used both Facebook and Twitter in an apparent attempt at escalating racial tensions in the U.S. during last year’s White House race.

Two sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN Money that the Twitter account has since been provided to Congress.

The Facebook version, which used the same “Blacktivists” handle as its Twitter counterpart, is expected to be in congressional hands within the coming days.

Some Twitter users on Friday voiced alarm at the news, the latest evidence Russia-linked social media accounts may have tried influencing the outcome of last year’s presidential election.

The pair of Blacktivist accounts regularly shared content that seemed intended to stock outrage on social media.

“Black people should wake up as soon as possible,” one post on the Twitter account read.

“Black families are divided and destroyed by mass incarceration and death of black men,” another said.

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Both accounts posted videos of police violence against African Americans, and the Facebook version publicized at least seven demonstrations and rallies across the country in 2016.

The events included the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party and a march in Baltimore commemorating the death of Freddie Gray in a police shooting in 2015.

The Blacktivist Facebook account also had 360,000 likes, more than the verified Black Lives Matter account’s current total of just over 301,000.

CNN Money’s sources said the Blacktivist Facebook account was among 470 linked to Russia that were identified by the social media giant and handed over to Congress earlier this month.

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All of the Facebook ads handed over were tied to the Internet Research Agency, a company that has been connected with Russia’s government.

U.S. military intelligence has called the entity “a state-funded organization that blogs and tweets on behalf of the Kremlin.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing Russia’s meddling in the 2016 race, including potential collusion between Russia and President Trump’s election campaign.

Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt” against himself and his administration.

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