Donald Trump’s digital campaign team tried to dissuade millions of African Americans from voting in the 2016 US presidential election, UK Channel 4 News reported in a report that aired Monday.
The channel’s investigative reporters say they got their hands on a file used by Trump’s team four years ago that contains nearly 200 million U.S. voters classified into different categories to send them advertisements. targeted on social networks.
Of these, more than 3.5 million black Americans were said to have been placed in a category called “deterrence” which was meant to get them to abstain from voting.
Channel 4 reporters said African Americans, who are generally loyal to the Democratic Party, have been targeted by this strategy more than other communities.
In the state of Georgia, for example, blacks made up 61 percent of the deterrent category while they make up only 32 percent of the population, according to the survey.
“It was a strategy that preceded the collapse of the black vote in key states like Wisconsin,” the report said.
Trump won the election.
Its 2016 digital campaign included a team from UK-based Cambridge Analytica, accused of collecting and using personal data of Facebook users without their consent for political purposes.
Brad Parscale, digital director of the 2016 campaign, insisted his team was not targeting black voters.
“I would say I’m almost 100% sure that we didn’t run any campaigns that even targeted African Americans,” he told PBS Frontline.
But Channel 4 News investigators said they saw a confidential document in which Cambridge Analytica admitted to targeting black Americans.
The report also says negative publicity was used to dissuade people from voting for Hillary Clinton, Trump’s rival in the 2016 election, where the Democratic candidate described black youth as “super predators” in videos viewed by million people on Facebook.
“What is shocking, disturbing, is that there is this category of repression,” said Jamal Watkins, vice president of civic engagement at the American civil rights organization NAACP, as quoted by the TV channel.
“We use data – similar to voter registration data – but it’s to motivate, persuade and encourage people to participate. We don’t use the data to tell who can deter us and keep us at home, ”he said.
“It’s a change from the notion of democracy. “
© 2020 AFP