#Roommates, remember when we told y’all about the Russian trolls who were behind thousands of fake Facebook ads? Well, according to CNN, the group responsible also paid for personal trainers in New York, Florida, and other parts of the U.S. to run self-defense classes for African Americans. Apparently, they suggested a connection to the Black Lives Matter movement to recruit people to take the classes.
“Be ready to protect your rights… Let them know that black power matters,” the group, named Black Fist, posted on its website. CNN reports they allegedly wanted to “stoke fear and gather contact details of Americans potentially susceptible to their propaganda.”
Their website was connected to a Facebook and Instagram page that have both now been removed. They were reportedly taken down as a part of Facebook’s investigation into the Russians meddling in the 2016 election and other possible political events.
Omowale Adewale, a martial arts instructor from Brooklyn, admitted that Black Fist reached out to him in January and he ran dozens of workouts on their behalf. He told CNN he had no idea that the Russians were behind it, but the “organizer” did ask him to send in a list of names, contact info, photos and videos of all the people attending the classes.
Black Fist reportedly used Facebook, Instagram, Eventbrite and MeetUp to promote these events.
TSR STAFF: Myeisha E.! @myeisha.essex on IG