Facebook released today its latest report detailing disinformation campaigns operating on its massive social network, and this one came with a few surprises.
In the new report, Facebook disclosed that it had removed a network of accounts linked to close Trump ally and former campaign advisor Roger Stone for “inauthentic” activity and coordinated fake accounts around the time of the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook has since removed Stone’s own accounts from both Facebook and Instagram.
The accounts linked to Stone, who is set to go to prison next week, posted on a number of topics, mostly from 2015 to 2017, including Florida politics, WikiLeaks’ release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, the 2016 races and Stone himself, “praising his political acumen, defending him against criminal charges.” Facebook removed 54 Facebook accounts, 50 Facebook pages and four Instagram accounts linked to Stone and his close associates. The network ran related accounts on Twitter and YouTube, as well.
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Researchers in the social analytics company Graphika dive to significant detail within their report on the newly discovered effort, which has been found in connection with recently public investigation warrants from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis.
Facebook also noted that a number of the pages it eliminated had links into the Proud Boys, the extremist group Facebook finally banned from 2018 following the team leveraged the stage to recruit and increase its rankings for months for years.
It started looking into the community of balances during imagined action by Proud Boys members trying to come back to the platform, discovering the wider system after the search warrants came to light in April.
Last November, Stone was found guilty of seven felony charges, such as making false statements to Congress, blocking Congress and witness tampering.
President Trump has hinted he intends to pardon his longtime associate. Trump’s Attorney General William Barr produced a firestorm of scrutiny earlier this season after he took the highly unusual step of intervening so as to decrease Stone’s sentence, presumably on account of the president’s proximity with Stone.
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Stone was not the sole high-profile political figure to be captured manipulating the social media. A parallel Facebook analysis into bogus account networks in Brazil discovered a bunch of accounts connected to the workplace of Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro and his sons, who had formerly been researched for running”a criminal bogus information racket.”
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