President Donald Trump, fresh from selling a so-called “Platinum Plan” for Black America to drum up votes, might need to address a claim made by a United Kingdom news outlet. According to the report, Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign database listed millions of Black voters as “deterrence” in the file.
The UK’s Channel 4 has much more:
In 16 key battleground states, millions of Americans were separated by an algorithm into one of eight categories, also described as ‘audiences’, so they could then be targeted with tailored ads on Facebook and other platforms.
One of the categories was named ‘Deterrence’, which was later described publicly by Trump’s chief data scientist as containing people that the campaign “hope don’t show up to vote”.
Analysis by Channel 4 News shows Black Americans – historically a community targeted with voter suppression tactics – were disproportionately marked ‘Deterrence’ by the 2016 campaign.
In total, 3.5 million Black Americans were marked ‘Deterrence’.
If we’re to understand Channel 4’s reporting, the “deterrence” category was comprised of more than just Black voters and was used to group together a number of people the campaign felt weren’t civically engaged or wanted them to be just outside the process.
As Channel 4 also notes, the digital campaign, titled “Project Alamo” was based in San Antonio, Texas, and was staffed by members of Cambridge Analytica, a British company no longer in existence.
President Trump, who has publicly decried recent reports regarding his tax returns, has not commented on Channel 4’s claims.