In Defying the Odds, we discuss social media, fake news, and Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign.
Two days before the 2016 presidential election, an Instagram account called @woke_blacks posted a message in support of long-shot Green Party candidate Jill Stein.Windrem reports that the Russians had long backed Stein, even in 2012,
“The excuse that a lost Black vote for Hillary is a Trump win is bs,” it read. “It could be late, but y’all might want to support Jill Stein instead.”
According to a report commissioned by the Senate, the account was a fake, part of the Russian campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.
The report was one of two that leaked this week saying the Russian effort to disrupt the election specifically targeted black voters and harnessed America’s top social media platforms. But the reports contained another finding that was largely overlooked — the Russians also focused on boosting Stein’s candidacy through social media posts like the one from @woke_blacks.
Most famously, Stein was one of two Americans invited to sit with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the head table of the RT 10th anniversary dinner in Dec. 2015. The other was General Michael Flynn, who was advising then candidate Donald J. Trump and is now awaiting sentencing in the special counsel’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.