Thousands of Americans attended a march last November organized by a Russian group that used social media to interfere in the 2016 election.
…The BlackMatters organizing group was connected to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll farm” with ties to the Kremlin, according to a recent investigation by the Russian Magazine RBC. Facebook has identified the Internet Research Agency as the group responsible for purchasing 3,000 political ads on Facebook’s platform and operating 470 accounts that appear to have attempted to influence the perspectives of Americans during the 2016 elections.
…According to numbers in Facebook’s general counsel’s leaked congressional testimony, the number of people potentially touched by organic content eclipses the potential number reached by ads by hundreds of millions.
BlackMatters had organized other protests, but none revealed so far reached the level of support that the Nov. 12 protest did — in many cases, the organization’s events fizzled out and didn’t come to fruition. Others that actually did take place had a limited and isolated reach.
Other events that appear to be organized by the group tended to focus on rallies around race flash points, including the deaths of black men killed by law enforcement, The Hill found after reviewing 15 events by the organization. Others claimed to offer free legal education for immigrants.
One event was shared with 1,300 users on Facebook, of which 240 ultimately said that they would attend the “One Person One Vote One March,” on Dec. 3 in New York City, a protest against the electoral college. But it’s unclear if the event actually occurred and, if it did, how many people attended.