Russia allegedly using Ghanaians, Nigerians to meddle in US elections

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Months of investigations by US television giant, CNN, has revealed Ghana is allegedly being used by Russia to meddle in the 2020 general elections of the United States of America.

The move spearheaded by Russian state-sponsored anonymous groups of Internet political commentators is meant to create racial tension and social unrest ahead of the polls.

Taking a similar dimension like the 2016 one, the investigation reveals that the goal of the clandestine operation, is to inflame divisions among Americans and provoke social unrest by promoting black empowerment and displaying anger towards white Americans.

It will be recalled that during the 2016 elections, the Russia troll operated from an office block in St. Petersburg, within Russia where participants created hundreds of accounts designed to pass as American.

But the narrative has changed this year as part of the campaign has been outsourced to trolls in Ghana and Nigeria. The operational headquarters, according to the CNN is in a walled compound near Accra rented by a small nonprofit group which called itself Eliminating Barriers for the Liberation of Africa (EBLA).

This building was used as the headquarters for Ghanaians posing as Americans and posting on social media.Image obtained from CNN.com

On Thursday, March 12, Facebook and Twitter Inc said they had taken down a network of Russian-linked fake accounts operated out of Ghana and Nigeria which targeted the United States.

According to Facebook about “49 Facebook accounts, 69 Pages and 85 Instagram accounts” have been removed for engaging in foreign interference.”

The social media platform further indicated that about 13,200 Facebook accounts followed one or more of the Ghana accounts and around 263,200 people followed one or more of Instagram accounts, about 65% of whom were in the US. Adding that “this network was in early stages of audience building and was operated by local nationals – witting and unwitting – in Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of individuals in Russia. It targeted primarily the United States.”

Twitter also told CNN that it had removed 71 accounts that had 68,000 followers. “Most were tweeting in English and presented themselves as based in the United States. The accounts operating out of Ghana and Nigeria and which we can reliably associate with Russia attempted to sow discord by engaging in conversations about social issues, like race and civil rights.”
In their Ghanaian hideout, one of the trolls who spoke to CNN on the ticket of anonymity said she had no idea she would be working as a Russian troll.
She noted that employees were given topics to post about. “So you get stories about LGBT, you get stories about police brutality, depends on what you are working,”
The workers had specific times to post and tweet and that was late afternoon and at night in Ghana, times when the US audience would have been active.

Some of the accounts while operating from Ghana and Nigeria, claimed be in Brooklyn or New Orleans in the United States of America.

One of them, @africamustwake, which described itself as a “Platform For #BLM #Racism #PoliceBrutality,” claimed to be in Florida. Another account even pretended to be the cousin of an African American who died in police custody.

Some few weeks ago, another account tweeted thus “Just experienced blatant #racism in Downton (sic) Huntsville, Alabama … Three of my black male friends were turned away because they were ‘out of dress code.’”

Investigations however revealed that the tweet was sent from Ghana.

Watch a live report by CNN on the Russian trolls below:
https://www.facebook.com/sabah.faddool/videos/10157382624952734/

Submit your stories or articles to newsroom@abcnewsgh.com or Whatsapp them to +233 553620623

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