Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone so I got some tea and it involves facebook and a Russian Operation trying to recruit journalist.
Facebook removed a network of fake accounts and pages created by Russian operatives who had recruited United States journalists to write articles that are critical of Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala D. Harris, in an apparent bid to undermine their support among liberal voters.
Facebook claims that it caught the network of 13 fake accounts and two pages early, before it had a chance to build a large audience an action that the company said was evidence of its growing effectiveness at targeting foreign disinformation operations ahead of the 2020 election.
On Tuesday facebook claims it separately took down a disinformation network that was associated with a Washington based public relations firm that Facebook said had spent millions of dollars to target users in Latin America. Content included posts supporting the political opposition in Venezuela and Bolivia’s interim government, as well as criticism of the Mexican president’s political party.
The Russian disinformation network, Facebook said the operatives created fictitious personas on Facebook to direct people to a new site called Peace Data, which billed itself as a ‘global news organization’ whose goal was “to shed light on the global issues and raise awareness about corruption, environmental crisis, abuse of power, armed conflicts, activism, and human rights.”
A report published by Graphika, a network analysis firm based in New York that received the Facebook data in advance, found that the Russian effort was small but echoed past efforts to undermine support for Democratic Party candidates by appealing to left wing U.S. voters. Among the targets were Biden and Harris (D-CA.), who were criticized by the phony network as immoral tools of political conservatives. Some posts also criticized Trump, but the target audience in the United States was democratic socialists, environmentalists and disaffected Democrats.
The takedown came as a result of a tip from the FBI and was one of a dozen operations tied to the Russian Internet Research Agency or individuals affiliated with it that Facebook has disrupted since the last presidential election, when IRA-backed pages amassed millions of views on the platform. The pages had about 14,000 followers.