Technology

Facebook removed hundreds of fake accounts tied to right-wing groups

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The accounts posed as actual folks in assist of the Trump administration. 


Picture by Pixabay/Illustration by PJDM

For those who noticed a touch upon an article about mail-in voting in a swing state, there’s an opportunity it got here from one of many 200 faux accounts Fb eliminated in October. On Thursday, the social community launched its monthly coordinated inauthentic behavior report, together with a takedown on a US marketing campaign in favor of the Trump administration. 

The disinformation marketing campaign got here from Rally Forge, a US advertising agency engaged on behalf of the conservative group Turning Level USA, Nathaniel Gleicher, Fb’s head of cybersecurity coverage, mentioned. 

Rally Forge created 200 faux Fb accounts, 76 Instagram accounts and 55 pages on Fb beginning in 2018, and posted feedback on political matters posing as actual folks whereas utilizing inventory pictures, Gleicher mentioned. 

Subjects included the 2020 presidential election, COVID-19 and reward of President Trump. In addition they posted feedback in assist of trophy looking in Kenya. In a single instance remark, a faux persona attacked the integrity of mail-in voting — echoing disinformation campaigns from foreign actors

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“Mail-in ballots are such a horrible idea. A dangerous amount of ballots will be lost or won’t arrive in time. The smartest thing to do is to vote in person,” the fake personality said in a Facebook comment on an article about mail-in voting in Iowa. 

Rally Forge didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“Turning Point Action works hard to operate within social platforms’ [Terms of Services] on all of its tasks and communications and we hope to work carefully with [Facebook] to rectify any misunderstanding,” Turning Level USA mentioned in an announcement. 

Rally Forge has since been banned from Fb, however Turning Level USA continues to be energetic on the social community. 

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A remark from a faux character claiming mail-in voting will result in fraud.


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Their pages had about 373,000 followers on Fb and 22,000 followers on Instagram, and spent about $973,000 on advertisements earlier than the takedown. 

Gleicher mentioned that many of those accounts had already been routinely eliminated by Fb’s detection system, however would pop again up with slight variations of the names.

Different takedowns famous in Fb’s report on Thursday embrace campaigns in Myanmar the place the nation’s navy incited a genocide on the social network, and in Azerbaijan, the place the ruling political party used fake accounts to harass its opposition. 

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Alfred Ng