Russian operatives purchased Facebook ads about Black Lives Matter with the intent of sowing division in the U.S., the Washington Post reported Monday, confirming previous reporting by The Daily Beast. The ads, which targeted American voters, were reportedly designed to exploit ongoing tensions in the country. The ads reportedly centered around racial, political, and economic rifts in the U.S., with some promoting groups like Black Lives Matter and others describing the groups as a threat. The Daily Beast previously reported that some Russian-backed pages promoted pro-Trump and anti-immigrant rallies in the U.S. A quarter of the ads were reportedly focused on specific locations in the U.S., particularly midwest swing states like Wisconsin and Michigan. Sen. Mark Warner, vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee told the Post that the ads were intended to discourage viewers from voting. “In many cases, it was more about voter suppression rather than increasing turnout," Warner said.
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