Facebook identifies campaign to interfere in United States midterm elections

April FrancisAug 02, 2018

According to a February indictment, the DOJ revealed that in the 2016 election meddling campaign, IRA fake Facebook accounts, pages, and groups often posted content on dividing topics or organized events and rallies, often for conflicting causes to pit the two groups together in order to exacerbate opposing political views inside the US. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.).

President Donald Trump has offered mixed messages on Russian interference, at times even calling it a "hoax".

It is also placing political ads into a public database (which, of course, you must login to see) and claims to be using both artificial intelligence and human reviewers to identify unusual or suspicious coordinated campaigning behavior.

For example, they used virtual private networks and internet phone services, and paid third parties to run ads on their behalf.

The coordinators of a deadly white-supremacist event in Charlottesville past year reportedly have been given a permit to hold a rally near the White House on August 12, the anniversary of the 2017 gathering.

On a Tuesday conference call, Facebook executives declined to say much more, including whether the pages spanned a range of political opinion and whether the accounts mentioned specific candidates or politicians. The social network said they found evidence of "connections" between the accounts suspended today and previous accounts linked to Russia's Internet Research Agency, but that it was insufficient to conclude that Russians were behind them.

The news was earlier reported by The New York Times, which said lawmakers on Capitol Hill were told this week.

Facebook was bamboozled by the IRA's coordinated interference before, during and after the 2016 election and is now working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an attempt to keep its platform from causing issues during the 2018 midterm elections. The most followed Facebook Pages were "Aztlan Warriors", "Black Elevation", "Mindful Being", and "Resisters".

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While Facebook still hasn't determined who created the pages, Sen. The money was paid in US and Canadian dollars from April 2017 to June 2018.

"We think that is interesting but not determinative", said Alex Stamos, the company's chief security officer.

The accounts spent United States dollars 11,000 to run 150 ads on both Facebook and Instagram between April 2017 and June of this year.

The pages were created between March 2017 and May 2018 and had a total of 290,000 followers. But he said that Democrats, not his fellow Republicans, would be the ones targeted.

"Legitimate pages helped build interest in 'No Unite the Right 2, '" said Gleicher, noting pages posted information about transportation so people could attend the demonstration. It said that the company has shared the information with U.S. law enforcement agencies, Congress, other technology companies, and the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. The pages and accounts were connected to protests planned in Washington next week, Facebook said.

Nathaniel Gleicher, the Head of Cybersecurity Policy, said Facebook couldn't identify who was behind the campaign with certainty, but did compare the pattern of behavior with those of the infamous Russian "troll farm," the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

Of course, all of this comes after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was dragged before U.S. Congress to explain exactly how the platform let foreign operatives influence hundreds of thousands of users with deliberately dodgy information, and what Facebook plans to do about it.

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