Matthew Hays's picture

Russian Bought Ad Targeted LGBT Individuals in the 2016 Election

We know that Russia influenced the 2016 Presidential Election. But just how far did their efforts go?

According to the ads released by the House Intelligence Committee, some of the ads targeted LGBT individuals. 

Under the name "LGBT United" an ad was run that talked about a coloring book of Bernie Sanders in various muscle positions. 

The ad promotes a real book, "Buff Bernie: A coloring book for Berniacs" by Nicole Daddona. It even borrowed from a BuzzFeed article and quoted her when it said "she wanted to stop taking this whole thing too seriously."

The interesting part of this is that the ad seems to be working for a Bernie win in the primaries and wasn't even about the general election. The ad ran in March, well before Clinton had clinched the nomination. Either way, it seems that the Russian hackers were doing whatever it took to make sure Hillary didn't win.

On the bright side, the ad didn't do very well with only 848 impressions and 54 clicks. Meaning the Russian attempts to influence LGBT views and voting didn't succeed. 

As Facebook, Twitter, and Google continue to testify this week, it will be interesting to see what measures come out of it going forward for social media and the ads we see in the future around elections.