Friday, 14 December, 2018

Kremlin used Facebook to promote political protests in US

Kremlin used Facebook to promote political protests in US Kremlin used Facebook to promote political protests in US
Sherri Watson | 14 September, 2017, 01:39

"Due to the town of Twin Falls, Idaho, becoming a center of refugee resettlement, which led to the huge upsurge of violence towards American citizens, it is crucial to draw society's attention to this problem", the event notice began, according to The Daily Beast.

Facebook made waves last week when it acknowledged that Russian-linked accounts had likely spent around $100,000 on ads on its site during and after the election campaign previous year. (The rally was held on a Saturday, when the City Council Chamber would have been closed.) The anti-immigrant SecuredBorders group was also responsible for a Trump meme that the president himself actually retweeted last month.

Facebook said in a statement that its takedown of what the company last week called Russian-affiliated pages included shutting down "several promoted events". Although the August 27 rally in Idaho has been deleted (along with numerous other meet-ups), The Daily Beast did manage to identify it from search engine caches.

The accounts promoted an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in August 2016 in Twin Falls, Idaho.

It was hosted by "Secured Borders", an anti-immigrant group outed as a Russian stooge.

Although the notice-like numerous ads referenced by Facebook last week-didn't associate itself with any particular politician, it borrowed themes familiar from then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign.

It remains unclear how many people actually showed up to that particular event-the Facebook event page lists four people as having attended.

"That somehow that was something they didn't think was relevant, which is again why I think this is the tip of the iceberg".

"Let's face it, the whole notion of social media and how it is used in political campaigns is the wild wild west", Warner said Tuesday, according to Recode. "I question whether Facebook has put near the resources they need into getting us all the facts".

At the time, Facebook's chief security fficer said that the "vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn't specifically reference the USA presidential election, voting or a particular candidate". The Kremlin has dismissed the allegations and denied any involvement in the DNC hack. But, the Russian rabbit hole goes even deeper than the $100,000 spent on deceptive ads.

Facebook said in response to the letter: "Federal law and ongoing investigations limit what we can share publicly". Reuters reports that the company has already turned over information regarding these ads to Robert Mueller, the special counsel heading the Russian Federation probe.