President Donald Trump’s social media guru, who targeted Black voters with “dark posts” during the 2016 campaign, is in place to continue his tactics for 2020. The president’s re-election campaign announcement that it hired the digital strategist to serve as campaign manager.
Brad Parscale, 42, began working for the Trump organization seven years ago as a website designer and media strategist. He was hired to head social media for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. That’s when he utilized “dark posts” on Facebook to diminish Black voter turnout for Hillary Clinton.
“He has our family’s complete trust and is the perfect person to be at the helm of the campaign,” Eric Trump, the president’s son, said in a statement, according to CNN. He added that Parscale was “pivotal to our success in 2016.”
Dark posts don’t appear in the sender’s Facebook news feed. Only the targeted Facebook users can see the message. Consequently, the posts can be tailored to specific recipients without getting blasted to everyone. It can easily silo scores of people with one click and without any accountability.
In one message during the 2016 campaign, Parscale disseminated dark posts to certain Black voters to remind them about Clinton’s “super predator” comment in 1996, in which she used the phrase to describe young Black males who were gang banging and selling crack cocaine.
Twenty years later, Clinton apologized for the term and her support of a 1994 crime bill that some say ushered in the wave of mass incarceration of Black people in the 1990s.
Back in 2016, it was unclear if dark posts for political messaging would work. However, Parscale was certain that his tactic would “dramatically affect” turnout for Clinton. Critics say he is probably already hard at work devising a scheme to diminish the Black vote in 2020.