In case you missed it, there is new evidence that supports a widely held view that Russia played a key role in Donald Trump’s 2016 US election win.
Hundreds of Facebook ads, Facebook groups, and YouTube videos have already been turned over to US congress as part of FBI special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia’s effort to interfere in the 2016 election.
But new evidence that Russia weaponised social media during the election is also coming to light.
This week, The Daily Beast uncovered a bizarre series of videos, in which two Nigerian men – who go by the names ‘Williams and Kalvin’ – straight-up pretend to be African American.
Listen to one of the videos released by ‘Williams and Kalvin’ on election day last year. Post continues after audio.
“They’re meant to be African American, in fact they are Nigerian, employed by Russia,” Mia Freedman says on this week’s episode of Tell Me It’s Going To Be OK, Mamamia’s Trump podcast.
According to The Daily Beast, the YouTube page for ‘Williams and Kalvin’, which has now been taken down, described the Clintons as “serial killers who are going to rape the whole nation”.
Listen: Mia Freedman and Rachel Corbett discuss the concrete proof of Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, and what happens next. Post continues after audio.
Their content was pulled from Facebook in August, according to The Daily Beast, “after it was identified as a Russian government-backed propaganda account”.
There are more than 400 of these fake accounts.
“Ironically, THIS is the actual fake news,” Freedman says in Tell Me It’s Going To Be OK. “Trump has cleverly co-opted that term, and he now uses it about anything he doesn’t want his followers to believe.”
Last week, Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, revealed that Russia “likely” used 470 fake accounts to buy $100,000 worth of ads peddling “divisive social and political messages” to the American people.
Experts believe the ads could have reached up to 70 million people.
We’ll bet Hillary Clinton is asking for a re-count.
You can listen to this week’s full episode of Tell Me It’s Going To Be OK, below.