Facebook says it identifies campaign to meddle in 2018 U.S

Facebook Shutters More Fake Accounts Believed to Be Linked to Russia

The company's stock has plunged more than 20 per cent since last week, after it reported slower user growth and rising costs for security and safety programs to crack down on abuse of its platform.

Facebook, which has more than 2 billion members worldwide, has come under increased scrutiny following revelations that its social network was used to spread misinformation before the 2016 elections, as well as other important elections and referendums elsewhere, such as the Brexit campaign in Britain.

We disabled the event earlier today and have reached out to the admins of the five other Pages to update them on what happened.

Having been publicly embarrassed and then excoriated for its failure to identify a massive misinformation campaign last time around, Facebook has expanded its security team, hiring several serious counterterrorism experts, and introduced new rules included the requirement for political advertisers to register with a United States addresses.

Facebook said it uncovered coordinated activity on issues like a sequel to last year's deadly "Unite the Right" white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in which anti-fascist protesters clashed with white nationalists, one of whom struck and killed a peaceful protester with his auto.

The company says it does not know who was behind the effort, but it says some of the behavior was consistent with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian-based troll farm behind a sprawling disinformation campaign that wreaked havoc during the 2016 election.

"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.

Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, in a statement urged Facebook to move against foreign groups trying to sway American voters and to warn legitimate users that such activity, as seen in 2016, is recurring this year.


"This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don't want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they're doing", the company said.

They also created 30 fake "events", with one event - which Facebook did not name - having 4,700 people saying they were interested in going, and 1,400 users saying they would attend. Among the most influential accounts nixed from the platform were "Aztlan Warriors", "Black Elevation", "Mindful Being", and "Resisters", according to Facebook.

The earliest page was created in March 2017. In total, they ran about $11,000 worth of ads, made more than 9,500 posts, and reached an audience of 290,000 accounts.

One fake page called "Resisters" was involved in co-ordinating a protest in Washington between August 10-12.

The Atlantic Council said the Resisters page, which advocated left-wing feminist causes, raised alarms because it was pushing for confrontation at multiple protests, including against supporters of the right-wing "Unite the Right 2" group, raising the potential for violence.

Other accounts and pages targeted sensitive issues like immigration, including at least one page involved in organizing an "Abolish ICE". "And we've found evidence of some connections between these accounts and IRA accounts we disabled a year ago".

Facebook officials declined to discuss specifics of what third party groups had published the most recent ads.

"We think it's inevitable that we will find evidence and we will find other actors, whether these are from Russian Federation, from other countries, or domestic actors that are looking to continue to try and abuse the platform", Gleicher told the Times.

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