Tag: Campaigns

Right-wing disinformation campaigns are targeting Latinos in Spanish Facebook and WhatsApp groups



Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images


© The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

  • Largely right-wing campaigns are spreading misinformation regarding democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris online, per a report in MIT Technology Review.
  • Spanish-language Facebook and WhatsApp group users have reported seeing messages like “Biden = Socialism” and that Kamala Harris supports abortions “minutes before birth,” both of which are untrue. 
  • Joe Biden’s success among Latino voters in swing states greatly impacts his chance of winning the election.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Latinos — a voting bloc that could decide the 2020 election — are getting hit with false information on Spanish-language Facebook and WhatsApp groups.

Largely right-wing disinformation campaigns, or ads that spread false or exaggerated information, are targeting Hispanic-Americans online, the MIT Technology Review Reported. Users reported seeing repetitive messaging of Kamala Harris supporting

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Campaigns sidestep Cambridge Analytica crackdown with new methods

“Your early vote has not been recorded,” one text message said, with a link for more information.

Other messages tell voters they are not registered, or offer unverified information about a political opponent.

Fraudulent messages like these are drawing attention as political campaigns ramp up data collection and voter targeting using their own technology to circumvent restrictions imposed by social media platforms following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook barred apps which scraped data on users and their contacts after revelations about the now-defunct British consulting group. But in response, President Donald Trump’s campaign and some activist groups are using their own methods.

“What we are seeing is almost more potent than in 2016,” said Samuel Woolley, a University of Texas professor who leads propaganda research at the school’s Center for Media Engagement

Woolley’s team, which examined messages such as the above-referenced ones, found that the Trump mobile app, and to

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The technology that powers political campaigns in 2020, explained

Campaigns and elections have always been about data—underneath the empathetic promises to fix your problems and fight for your family, it’s a business of metrics. If a campaign is lucky, it will find its way through a wilderness of polling, voter attributes, demographics, turnout, impressions, gerrymandering, and ad buys to connect with voters in a way that moves or even inspires them. Obama, MAGA, AOC—all have had some of that special sauce. Still, campaigns that collect and use the numbers best win.

That’s been true for some time, of course. In 2017, Hillary Clinton lamented that the Democratic National Committee had supplied her team with out-of-date data. She blamed this in part for her loss to Donald Trump, whose campaign sat atop an impressive Republican data-crunching machine. (The DNC retorted that it wasn’t the data, but how it was used, that was inadequate.)

In 2020, campaigns have added new wrinkles

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Russia, China, Iran Hackers Target Biden and Trump Campaigns

Hackers from Russia, China and Iran have targeted political campaigns in the U.S. including those run by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, Microsoft  (MSFT) – Get Report said on Thursday.

“We have and will continue to defend our democracy against these attacks. … The activity we are announcing today makes clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts targeting the 2020 election as had been anticipated,” the Redmond, Wash., software giant said in a blog post on Thursday.

Microsoft said hackers operating from Russia, also identified in the Mueller report, have attacked more than 200 organizations including political campaigns, advocacy groups, parties and political consultants.

Hackers from China have “indirectly and unsuccessfully targeted” Biden’s campaign through the personal email accounts of people working within his campaign, the company said.

Meanwhile, hackers from Iran have unsuccessfully attempted to log into the accounts of

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