Facebook uncovers disinformation campaign to influence midterms

Facebook has uncovered and subsequently shut down a political disinformation campaign aiming to influence the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

    2018/08/01

NSFW    MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA — Facebook has uncovered a disinformation campaign that may have been aimed at influencing the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.

According to a report from Facebook, 32 false pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram between March 2017 and May 2018 have been removed after they violated a ban on coordinated inauthentic behavior.

The operatives put out a total of 9,500 posts Facebook, luring 290,000 people, who reportedly followed at least one of the pages.

From April 2017 to June this year, the accounts ran 150 ads worth $11,000, paid for in American and Canadian dollars. They also created 30 events which attracted the interest of 4,700 accounts.

One bogus page that promoted a counterprotest even coordinated with administrators from legitimate pages to co-host the event. Those admins have since been notified.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says investigation into the operation is still ongoing, reports the Washington Post.

And while they haven't expressly identified the Russians as the culprits, tools and techniques used in this case were similar to those used by the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-linked group believed to have interfered with the 2016 presidential elections.
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