Author Topic: Russia tried to subvert US elections promoting racism  (Read 1995 times)

Greg Davidson

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Russia tried to subvert US elections promoting racism
« on: May 12, 2018, 12:59:54 AM »
USA Today reviewed all of the Facebook ads the Russians bought https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/05/11/what-we-found-facebook-ads-russians-accused-election-meddling/602319002/

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Young Mie Kim, a University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who published some of the first scientific analysis of social media influence campaigns during the election, said the ads show that the Russians are attempting to destabilize Western Democracy by targeting extreme identity groups.

“Effective polarization can happen when you’re promoting the idea that, ‘I like my group, but I don’t like the other group’ and pushing distance between the two extreme sides,” Kim said. “And we know the Russians targeted extremes and then came back with different negative messages that might not be aimed at converting voters, but suppressing turnout and undermining the democratic process.”

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Of the roughly 3,500 ads published this week, more than half — about 1,950 — made express references to race. Those accounted for 25 million ad impressions — a measure of how many times the spot was pulled from a server for transmission to a device.
At least 25% of the ads centered on issues involving crime and policing, often with a racial connotation. Separate ads, launched simultaneously, would stoke suspicion about how police treat black people in one ad, while another encouraged support for pro-police groups.
Divisive racial ad buys averaged about 44 per month from 2015 through the summer of 2016 before seeing a significant increase in the run-up to Election Day. Between September and November 2016, the number of race-related spots rose to 400. An additional 900 were posted after the November election through May 2017.
Only about 100 of the ads overtly mentioned support for Donald Trump or opposition to Hillary Clinton. A few dozen referenced questions about the U.S. election process and voting integrity, while a handful mentioned other candidates like Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush.

Fenring

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Re: Russia tried to subvert US elections promoting racism
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 01:14:30 AM »
It's interesting to consider what Russia might now believe to be effective subversion, especially because if we assume they know what they're doing it makes a statement about what America's weak points are. Let's assume for the moment that their tactic here is a good one - meaning they're on to something and have been successful. Does it not strike you as interesting that their choice of the topic to pick at American morale is precisely one the main topics Americans themselves have been obsessed with for the last few years? I'm sure you remember how involved the thread here was on Charlottesville and all the crazy disparate views that were expressed pro/anti/whatever. I'm not saying the topic is a good or bad one to focus on (race relations, racism, etc.) but based on what you're quoting here it looks more like Russia is jumping on an already fast-moving bandwagon than that they're inventing ways of subverting Americans. Or put more plainly, they see what Americans are already doing to themselves and they're just pushing it a bit further. Does that not sound like a reasonable explanation of what you're presenting?

Greg Davidson

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Re: Russia tried to subvert US elections promoting racism
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 06:06:22 PM »
It is clear that they are not creating cultural fault lines, but instead exploiting them.  That is asymmetrical warfare in the internet age - Russia cannot come close to defeating our strengths, but they were able to achieve many of their geopolitical goals by exploiting our weaknesses.

Pete at Home

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Re: Russia tried to subvert US elections promoting racism
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 02:30:52 AM »
It is clear that they are not creating cultural fault lines, but instead exploiting them.  That is asymmetrical warfare in the internet age - Russia cannot come close to defeating our strengths, but they were able to achieve many of their geopolitical goals by exploiting our weaknesses.

Well said and agreed, and I am delighted that you seem to be coming around to a rational usage of "racism" rather than the leftspeak where all that matters is racism by the dominant group against others.

Quote
Of the roughly 3,500 ads published this week, more than half — about 1,950 — made express references to race. Those accounted for 25 million ad impressions — a measure of how many times the spot was pulled from a server for transmission to a device.
At least 25% of the ads centered on issues involving crime and policing, often with a racial connotation. Separate ads, launched simultaneously, would stoke suspicion about how police treat black people in one ad, while another encouraged support for pro-police groups.
Divisive racial ad buys averaged about 44 per month from 2015 through the summer of 2016 before seeing a significant increase in the run-up to Election Day. Between September and November 2016, the number of race-related spots rose to 400. An additional 900 were posted after the November election through May 2017.


If you recognize that these "fault lines" (them ain't scare quotes; I strongly approve your phrasing) damage the country and that hatred against the majority reinforces hatred by the majority, then you're someone I could work with.