The redacted report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller was released this morning, and it reveals the country ran dozens of social media pages purporting to be American citizens, including several supporting Black Lives Matter.
It appears the at least one of the goals of the Russia Federation’s meddling in the United States was to simply tear apart any type of social cohesion in the United States. In addition to cyber efforts aimed at supporting then-candidate Donald J. Trump in 2015 and 2016, the Russians also backed Sen. Bernie Sanders, and strangely enough, Black Lives Matter.
Russia’s Internet Research Agency, or IRA, ran several Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook pages and groups aimed at pushing Black Lives Matter messaging. Some of these were called “Black Matters”, “Blacktivist”, “Don’t Shoot US”, “Black Fist” and a self-titled grass roots group called “Black Matters US”.
While these groups were created by the IRA, they recruited American citizens to assist in creating content and running the operations. While portions of the Mueller report have been redacted to protect the privacy of American citizens, it appears the IRA attempted to contact prominent members of Black Lives Matter within the United States to gain their support on social media. This appears to have been unsuccessful.
However, at one point, the IRA-created “Black Fist” entity hired a “self defense instructor” in New York to offer classes sponsored by the social media presence. The purported goal of these classes was to “teach African-Americans to protect themselves when contacted by law enforcement.”
In addition to the various Black Lives Matter presences on social media, and those supporting President Trump and Sanders, the IRA sponsored several social media outlets claiming to be part of America’s LGBTQ and Muslim communities. These included “LGBT United” and “United Muslims of America”.
This information seems to suggest one of Russia’s primary goals in its meddling in the United States was to play all sides to destroy the already decaying social cohesion within the country.
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