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Daily Trends Now


Facebook finds 'sophisticated' efforts to disrupt United States politics

Facebook finds 'sophisticated' efforts to disrupt United States politics

"We face determined, well-funded adversaries who will never give up and are constantly changing tactics", reads the company's blog post on the latest findings.

Is Canada safe from Russian-style election hacking on Facebook?

Orsinger said he was not yet sure that the account that had involved him was Russian, but that if it was, he was concerned about he and fellow activists being infiltrated and influenced. Facebook said that the "bad actors" used VPNs and internet phone services to hide their identity and even paid third parties to run ads on their behalf. Facebook said 30 events were created by these Facebook accounts.

A man who identified himself as an administrator of Resisters, Washington activist Brendan Orsinger, said on a video call with Reuters that he had been invited to help operate the page by someone he knew only through Facebook messages.

The company said it was still in the early stages of its investigation and did not yet know who may be behind the influence campaign for 2018 elections that will determine whether or not the Republican Party keeps control of Congress.

According to The New York Times, which first reported the news, these accounts have engaged in a "coordinated political influence campaign".




After it became clear that Russia-linked actors used social media to try to influence the 2016 U.S. election, Facebook has escalated countermeasures meant to prevent a repeat.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment early this year revealed that Russia-backed actors coordinated and staged offline events-including one where Americans were hired to build a cage atop a flatbed truck with someone in a Hillary Clinton costume to promote the idea that she should be imprisoned. The most followed Facebook Pages were "Aztlan Warriors", "Black Elevation", "Mindful Being", and "Resisters". The pages repeated progressive talking points and set up real-world events aimed at rallying genuine left-wing activists. "The latest was created in May 2018", wrote Gleicher. It also said some of the pages' behavior was "consistent" with what it saw from Russia's Internet Research Agency before and after the 2016 election. "The United States of America will not tolerate any foreign interference in our elections from any nation state".

Facebook says the pages ran about 150 ads for $11,000 on Facebook and Instagram, paid for in USA and Canadian dollars. One page promoted a "No Unite the Right 2" march - a counter demonstration to a planned "Unite the Right" event to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the march in Charlottesville in which a woman was killed.

"Today's disclosure is further evidence that the Kremlin continues to exploit platforms like Facebook to sow division and spread disinformation, and I am glad that Facebook is taking some steps to pinpoint and address this activity", said the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat Mark Warner. It also said it has shared the information with US law enforcement agencies, Congress, and other technology companies.

Facebook said it made a decision to share the information, despite not having all the facts, because there was a "connection" between the pages in question and a number of protests that were planned for Washington, DC next week. Specifically, a page called "Resisters", which interacted with one Internet Research Agency account in 2017, created an event called "No Unite the Right 2 - DC" to serve as a counterprotest to the white nationalist gathering, scheduled to take place in Washington in August.

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