Report: Russian Facebook Ads Targeted Hispanics After Trump Win

Russian operatives bought dozens of Facebook ads in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory that directly targeted America’s Hispanic community and sought to inflame racial tensions. Ads released by House Democrats this month showed Russian operatives focused on race during the presidential election, but an analysis from USA Today shows, in the first half of 2017, Facebook pages set up by a Russian propaganda operation started pushing ads on both sides of the immigration debate to set them against each other. “One set of ads targeted users who had shown interest in Hispanic and Latino culture with pro-immigration messages,” said the report. “Another set zeroed in on users whose views aligned with Trump on immigration and deportation.” Propaganda expert James Ludes explained: “The Russians don’t really care what the policy is; they care about the divisiveness that the issue itself engenders. They want to amp up the divisiveness and give it as loud a voice as they possibly can.”