Facebook announced on Tuesday that it has identified a coordinated political influence campaign, with dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages that are believed to be engaging in political activity ahead of November’s midterm elections, according to three people briefed on the matter.
In a series of briefings on Capitol Hill this week and a public post on Tuesday, the company told lawmakers that it had detected and removed 32 pages and accounts connected to the influence campaign on Facebook and Instagram as part of its investigations into election interference. It publicly said it had been unable to tie the accounts to Russia, whose Internet Research Agency was at the center of an indictment earlier this year for interfering in the 2016 election, but company officials told Capitol Hill that Russia was possibly involved, according to two officials briefed on the matter.
Like the Russian interference campaign in 2016, the recently detected campaign dealt with divisive social issues.
Facebook discovered coordinated activity around issues like a sequel to last year’s deadly “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Specifically, a page called “Resisters,” which interacted with one Internet Research Agency account in 2017, created an event called “No Unite the Right 2 — DC” to serve as a counterprotest to the white nationalist gathering, scheduled to take place in Washington in August. Mr. Gleicher said “inauthentic” administrators for the “Resisters” page went as far as to coordinate with administrators for five other apparently real pages to co-host the event, publicizing details about transportation and other logistics.
Mr. Gleicher said it disabled the event on Tuesday and notified 2,600 users of the site who had indicated interest in attending the event.
Coordinated activity was also detected around #AbolishICE, a left-wing campaign on social media that seeks to end the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to two people briefed on the findings. That echoed efforts in 2016 to fan division around the Black Lives Matter movement.
American intelligence and law enforcement officials have been warning for months that Russia’s efforts to undermine American democracy remain active and pose a threat to this year’s elections. If in fact Russian, the activity would provide vivid evidence that the kind of cyber operations used around the 2016 campaign were still in use.
I sometimes have contact with current or former people in the intelligence community. I don’t have any specific information but “it is well known” the Russians like to create internal conflict in their enemies. It is a part of their culture and even have a word for it (sorry, I don’t remember it). I have been told they organized both anti-Hillary and anti-Trump events in 2016. It’s what they do. Hacking into the DNC and Hillary’s email servers and releasing the contents wasn’t necessarily to help elect Trump. It was to create conflict.
I have to wonder… is a lot of the conflict on social media regarding firearms fueled by Russia? When you are debating some twit on Twitter are you actually wasting time talking to a paid Russian troll?
It’s possible the Chinese did that…
(Take that with as large a grain of salt as you wish based on the source…)
…which doesn’t invalidate it as a Russian tactic, of course.
I have a strong suspicion that the Chinese were resident on Hillary’s email server for a long time and used it as a back door into other systems.
At the same time the Hildabeast was passing classified info over her server, including TS/SCI “names of assets” type information, the Chinese systematically dismantled our in country HUMINT assets. Dozens of agents were burned in a very short period of time.
The breach of personnel data at OPM also happened during this same time period. What better way to get malware and worms onto secured systems than having access to the email of the SoS.
Fact is, who the hell knows what else they might have breached using that path that we just haven’t found yet….
Disinformation is the term, I think..
Yeah, a lot of those folks are paid, they have to be, look at the post counts. They are also well backed. They have a great deal of information at their immediate disposal that they cut and paste from. I spent some time this winter trying to get a handle on who was behind them and I didn’t get very far. The Russians are as good a suspect as any. There are more of those folks than you may realize though. I came across many people with many thousands of posts to their credit.
This is not new. You can find accounts of how the Obama administration tried to throw the election in Israel. The Shah of Iran comes to mind, as well as others. But these are “recent” (i.e. within the last 50-75 years) happenings.
The American Democrat, by James Fenimore Cooper, published in 1838, refers to a plot that had been uncovered involving a French plan to influence American elections (ISBN-13: 978-0913966921, ISBN-10: 0913966924, available via Amazon). Beyond that, there are numerous stories from even more ancient times referring to various “palace intrigues”, the assassination of Caesar, etc., etc. Truly nothing new under the sun.
To cause substantial damage to our nation and its institutions, the Russians never had to go to all the trouble with it’s inherent risk of actually significantly interfering in the election. All they had to do was make a substantial portion of the populace THINK that they significantly interfered with the election, and a part of our population played right into their hands….
Indeed. Which means essentially the entire D wing of Congress are Russian agents.
konspiratsiya (yes, conspiracy)
kompromat (compromising material)
I can’t remember the Russian name for a false flag operation though
The basis for all Rusiian/Soviet operations has never been to pick a side, but to create internal dissension and chaos, which is what weakens an adversary no matter which side in the target is currently in power. They have used this type of operation since forever so why this suprises anyone is beyond me
Maskirovka is the term in a military context.
“is a lot of the conflict on social media regarding firearms fueled by Russia?”
Not saying that the Russians did not do their part, however, I think that much more of the bile posted is done by shills paid by democrats.
Not just about firearms either, about any forum or site that allows comments.