Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Facebook Spikes Suspected Russian Accounts Tied to 2018 Election Meddling

Facebook Spikes Suspected Russian Accounts Tied to 2018 Election Meddling

Facebook shared that it identified the first of eight Pages and 17 profiles on Facebook along with seven Instagram accounts that violate the company's ban on coordinated inauthentic behavior.

Though the world's biggest social media network has not yet attributed the accounts to any group, it says the campaign does bear some resemblance to the propaganda campaign allegedly run by Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA) in the run-up to the 2016 United States presidential election.

Facebook has uncovered 32 pages and accounts working together to spread messaging tied to hot-button issues, the same tactics used during the 2016 election.

This most recent political influence campaign consisted of pages with names like "Aztlan Warriors", "Black Elevation", "Mindful Being" and "Resisters". They were paid for in American and Canadian dollars. Facebook said 30 events were created by these Facebook accounts. For example, "they used VPNs and internet phone services, and paid third parties to run ads", the statement said.

Two U.S. intelligence officials told Reuters there was not sufficient evidence to conclude that Russia was behind the Facebook campaign, but one noted that "the similarities, aims and methodology relative to the 2016 Russian campaign are quite striking". The page also briefly listed an IRA account as one of its administrators.

But we are sharing what we know today given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington next week.

When details of the Russian social media trolling attempt to influence the 2016 election came out, Reason's Jacob Sullum looked it over and questioned how much impact it actually had.

The company discovered one fraudulent page, called "Resisters", which worked with legitimate groups to organize a counter-protest to a white nationalist rally in Washington, D.C.in August.

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Speaking more about the removal of pages, Facebook said that it identified these inauthentic pages active on its platform as part of its investigation in the election interference. This afternoon, we'll begin informing the approximately 2,600 users interested in the event, and the more than 600 users who said they'd attend, about what happened.

Citing unnamed sources, The New York Times reported that other "coordinated" activity revolved around #AbolishICE, a left-wing campaign against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Top Democrats like Sen.

We're still in the very early stages of our investigation and don't have all the facts - including who may be behind this. "And I am glad that Facebook is taking some steps to pinpoint and address this activity". After being caught flat-footed by the IRA's efforts ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Facebook has expanded its security team, hired counterterrorism experts and recruited workers with government security clearances.

The company is using artificial intelligence and teams of human reviewers to detect automated accounts and suspicious election-related activity.

Facebook said that the individuals running the pages also took efforts to cover their tracks. A pending bill proposed by Warner, called the Honest Ads Act, would hold technology companies that publish political ads to the same disclosure responsibilities as broadcasters.

A Russian propaganda arm tried to tamper in the 2016 USA election by posting and buying ads on Facebook, according to the company and U.S. intelligence agencies.

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