Facebook identifies political influence campaign ahead of US midterms

Facebook identifies political influence campaign ahead of US midterms

Facebook identifies political influence campaign ahead of US midterms

Facebook officials say they have identified a coordinated political campaign ahead of US elections this fall, including fake accounts that helped organize a protest in Washington D.C., and suspicious American political issue ads paid for in Canadian dollars.

"We know that Russians and other bad actors are going to continue to try to abuse our platform - before the midterms, probably during the midterms, after the midterms, and around other events and elections", Gleicher said. The earliest was created in March of a year ago, while the most recent was created this May.

Inauthentic pages dating back more than a year organized an array of real world events, all but two of which have taken place, according to Facebook.

"I also expect Facebook, along with other platform companies, will continue to identify Russian troll activity and to work with Congress on updating our laws to better protect our democracy in the future", said Warner, adding that he had received a briefing on the discoveries. The canceled event was called "No Unite the Right 2".

U.S. President Donald Trump has come under fire for discounting the threat of interference in the congressional elections.

Is Canada safe from Russian-style election hacking on Facebook? The Resisters page partnered with five authentic USA progressive groups to organize an August 10 rally marking the one-year anniversary of the deadly white nationalist "Unite the Rally" in Charlottesville, Virginia, Facebook announced.

Facebook identified influence activity around at least two issues, including a counter-protest to a "Unite the Right II" rally set next week in Washington.

Facebook discovered the accounts by "following up on thousands of leads, including information from law enforcement and lessons we learned from last year's IRA investigation", it said.

But official Washington connected those dots anyway, not least because the reported activity so closely mirrored Russian influence campaigns during the 2016 presidential election. The names of the Facebook pages in question - "Aztlan Warriors", "Black Elevation", and "Resisters" - and some of thier posts make it pretty clear: they provoke a strong reaction and pit one side of the political spectrum against the other.

The company has been unable to tie the accounts to Russian Federation, who U.S. officials say used the platform to spread disinformation ahead of the 2016 USA presidential election.

The other removed material included eight Facebook pages, 17 Facebook profiles, and seven accounts of the photo-sharing site Instagram. It said that the company has shared the information with United States law enforcement agencies, Congress, other technology companies, and the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. On Tuesday, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, wrote in a company blog post that his team couldn't say for sure who was behind the new campaign.

We face determined, well-funded adversaries who will never give up and are constantly changing tactics.

Facebook says the pages ran about 150 ads for $11,000 on Facebook and Instagram, paid for in U.S. and Canadian dollars.

Facebook said that the urgency of the upcoming rally prompted them to publicize the information, even though it is in the early stages of an investigation. The pages created about 30 events since May 2017 and "The largest had approximately 4,700 accounts interested in attending, and 1,400 users said that they would attend", Facebook said.

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