SOWING DISCORD

Russian Trolls’ Facebook Ads Targeted Fox News Fans, Sites of Police Killings

A cache of 3,000 Facebook ads purchased by the notorious Russian internet troll farm during the 2016 election and beyond shows that the ads got more targeted and nuanced, according to NBC News and the The Wall Street Journal. The ads, which were released Thursday by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, show the Internet Research Agency were able to narrowly target fans of Fox News’ hosts, people of certain professions, and activists in certain locations by 2017. Anti-immigrant messages were pushed on those who liked “Fox News personalities” and those who liked President Trump and Jesus Christ. The IRA-created pages “Black Matters” and “Don’t Shoot” bought ads in Baltimore, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri—the locations of controversial police shootings that gained national attention.  They also targeted those with job titles like “coal miner” and bought “ batches of ads” right after the June 2015 mass shooting in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, by white nationalist Dylann Roof.