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Report: Russian-Purchased Black Lives Matter Ad Targeted Ferguson

REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

A Black Lives Matter ad reportedly purchased by a Russian group was targeted to be viewed by people living in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, according to a Wednesday CNN report.

The Black Lives Matter ad, placed on Facebook towards the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, was made to seem sympathetic with the movement, sources familiar with the ads told CNN, adding that the ad could also have been seen as portraying the movement as harmful to residents in those cities.

Both cities witnessed massive protests from Black Lives Matter after police officers fatally shot black men.

Facebook was forced to hand over approximately 3,000 ads after the company discovered that some of the ads were potentially linked to a Russian firm. Most of the ads, reportedly bought by the Internet Research Agency, focused on issues like gay rights, Black Lives Matter, the Second Amendment and the threat of immigration rather than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump.

The Internet Research Agency is “a state-funded organization that blogs and tweets on behalf of the Kremlin,” according to U.S. military intelligence.

“There is evidence that some of the accounts are linked to a troll farm in St. Petersburg, referred to as the Internet Research Agency, though we have no way to independently confirm,” a Facebook official previously said to The Washington Post. “Our data policy and federal law limit our ability to share user data and content, so we won’t be releasing any ads.”

Facebook did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.

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