‘Kill them all’: Russia-linked Facebook accounts encouraged hate crimes against black activists
Three Facebook groups linked to Russia have reportedly been encouraging violence against social groups such as Black Lives Matter as well as against police officers and undocumented immigrants.
The groups, which have since been removed by Facebook, were part of a database compiled by Jonathan Albright, the research director at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Albright tracks and studies Russian propaganda.
The groups were all reportedly created by the Russian Internet Research Agency and sought to stir up violence between different groups in American society.
— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) October 31, 2017
One group, “Being Patriotic,” suggested that Black Lives Matter activists were disrespecting the flag and should “be immediately shot.” Another group called “Blacktivist” called for retaliation against police for police brutality, writing, “Black people have to do something. An eye for an eye. The law enforcement officers keep harassing and killing us without consequences.”
The third group, “Secured Borders,” had the most violent posts, suggesting of “dangerous illegal aliens” that “the only way to deal with them is to kill them all.”
Mark R. Jacobson, a Georgetown University professor and expert on Russian influence operations, said that the groups showed Russia’s way of attempting to destabilize the United States and incite race-based warfare within our own borders.
“The Russians don’t want groups like Black Lives Matter [and] the Alt-Right to sit there and have discussions and debates about the future of America. They want violent clashes,” Jacobson said.