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Facebook Pulls Fake Accounts Trying to Promote Trump Ov...

Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Facebook Pulls Fake Accounts Trying to Promote Trump Over Biden

Facebook Inc. signage is displayed on a laptop computer in an arranged photograph taken in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S., on Friday, July 24, 2020. Facebook Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 29. Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg
By Bloomberg
08 Oct 2020 0

Facebook Inc. removed a U.S.-based network of accounts with fake personas commenting on news links to try to sway public opinion in President Donald Trump’s favor ahead of the election.

The Facebook accounts, which started in 2018 and continued through this year, engaged in “criticism of the Democratic party and presidential candidate Joe Biden and praise of President Trump and the Republican party,” Facebook said in a report.

The commenters, created to look like real Facebook users, posted about elections, Covid-19 and policy matters. They weighed in most frequently on Facebook pages of the Washington Post, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and the New York Times.

Earlier: Social Media Braces for a Deluge of Voter Misinformation

Facebook pulled the network of accounts for inauthentic activity. The company linked the group to Rally Forge, a U.S. marketing firm, working for Turning Point USA and the Inclusive Conservation Group. Turning Point USA encourages young people to get involved in conservative causes.

Rally Forge is now banned from Facebook, as is their influence effort of 200 Facebook accounts, 55 pages and 76 Instagram accounts. The group also spent about $973,000 in Facebook ads.

Read more: Disinformation Actors Gear Up for U.S. Elections

Twitter Inc. also disclosed a group of information operations on Thursday, and said it removed 1,594 accounts from the service for “various violations of our platform manipulation policies.”

None of the five networks pulled by Twitter originated in the U.S. The largest group was 926 accounts from Thailand that were amplifying pro-government and pro-military content. Twitter said the network was one it could “reliably link to the Royal Thai Army.”

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