What voter suppression looks like online


A fake ad from the 2016 election claimed encouraged people to “vote” by text.

Black voters are targeted on social media, too.

According to a report by CNN, the federal government has warned that Russia “might seek to covertly discourage or suppress US voters from participating” in the upcoming election.

If so, it would be a repeat of their tactics four years ago, when Russian operatives posing as Americans on social media discouraged Black Americans from voting or encouraged them to vote for the third-party candidate, Jill Stein.

The Trump campaign itself also pursued a strategy of voter suppression targeted at African Americans, who vote against Republicans at higher rates than any other demographic group.

While voter suppression takes many forms — from intimidation at polling places to purges of voter rolls to strict ID requirements — this video focuses on digital voter suppression, where the goal is to infiltrate communities online and deliver messages that discourage participation in elections. We explain what those messages look like, and why they so often target Black voters.

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