ABC News covered how extremists target Black communities with disinformation designed to reduce their political voice and trust in institutions. The piece drew in part on Deen Freelon’s work:
The Russian trolls that spread disinformation during the 2016 election, as outlined in the Mueller report, also targeted Black Americans specifically, according to research by Deen Freelon from the University of North Carolina, on the Russian-based Internet Research Agency.
According to Freelon’s report, Black Trolls Matter: Racial and Ideological Asymmetries in Social Media Disinformation, the Russian agency created social media accounts masking as Black users during the 2016 election season using Twitter account names like “Blacktivist” and “BlackMattersUS.”
The story also features work by First Draft News, Brandi Collins-Dexter at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, and the Center for Democracy & Technology.