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

(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. The shady organization, known for running misinformation campaigns, must've felt at home on the platform.

The latest revelations underscore how Russian Federation was able to take advantage of extremist political rhetoric including anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment, to whip up discontent in the run-up to the 2016 election, priming Americans for the wave of fake-news stories that inundated social media during the presidential race. But, the Russian rabbit hole goes even deeper than the $100,000 spent on deceptive ads.

Some of the ads bought by Russians on Facebook past year promoted events during the USA presidential campaign, Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Tuesday, indicating that alleged meddling ahead of the 2016 election went beyond social media. Others reportedly pushed anti-muslim conspiracy theories.

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The top House Intelligence panel Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, said the committee "certainly has been in discussions with the technology companies, including Facebook" and is seeking additional information. The news site said the confirmation marks the first time the company has publicly acknowledged the existence of such events, organized using the site's event-management and invitation tool.

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

Judging by its rhetoric, the Russia-backed event preyed on the fears raised by these false reports. "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 description for the Idaho rally, sponsored by a group called SecureBorders, read. Its Facebook page was shut down as part of the site's recent clean-up efforts. One cached Facebook event which appears to be the same one flagged by the Beast had just 48 interested attendees, with only four marked as "went", a category that does not necessarily denote a physical presence at the rally. That's a small number, but the extent of these types of paid posts is still unclear.

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Although numerous events had already been deleted from Facebook, some remnants still exist in search engine caches.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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