Trump campaign using targeted Facebook posts to discourage black Americans from voting

While the Trump campaign continues to flounder weeks before Election Day, a new report is providing some inside information on the candidate's strategy, including an unorthodox use of Facebook.

Plan to "depress" votes in Clinton-leaning demographics

Businessweek, which published a major look into the campaign this morning, explains how the Trump team has quietly organized a data enterprise to sharpen its White House bid. According to the magazine, the campaign is meanwhile attempting to depress votes in demographics where Hillary Clinton is winning by wide margins.

In one move, the Trump campaign reportedly created a cartoon animation with Clinton repeating her now-infamous line about "super predators," pairing it with the text, "Hillary Thinks African Americans are Super Predators." Businessweek reports that the Trump campaign is planning to use the ad in so-called "dark" Facebook posts — targeted, paid posts — to convince black voters not to come out for Election Day.

7. So Trump camp is targeted Facebook "dark posts" at Dem-leaning, but infrequent black voters to discourage them into staying home.

— Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) October 27, 2016

Certainly there's nothing new about political ads trashing an opponent — but using Facebook to target the opposition's supporters is a different strategy. As Businessweek points out, there's no widely available evidence that such a plan will work. It may even backfire, unintentionally convincing some Americans to vote instead. But as the magazine writes, the data the Trump campaign has built may be the foundation for a Trump project launching well past Election Day.


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