Facebook Has Discovered "Ongoing Political Influence Campaign" Just In Time For Midterms

Facebook will announce on Tuesday afternoon that it has identified a "coordinated political influence campaign," comprised of "dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages that are believed to be engaging in political activity ahead of November's miderm elections," reports the New York Times, citing three people briefed on the matter. 

While they aren't sure it's those pesky Russians, company officials told lawmakers that it might be. 

In a series of briefings on Capitol Hill this week, the company told lawmakers that it detected the influence campaign as part of its investigations into election interference. It has 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 of the officials. -New York Times

Facebook says it discovered "coordinated activity" promoting politically charged issues such as "Abolish ICE," championed by Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as an upcoming sequel to last year's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA. The Times notes that the efforts echo those in 2016 to stoke racial tensions surrounding the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. 

And according to Bloomberg, the social media giant removed a whopping 32 such accounts today, saving countless Americans from having their thoughts manipulated. 

In February, following the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and two businesses for election meddling (one of which has shown up in US court to fight), Facebook VP of advertising, Rob Goldman pointed out that the majority of advertising purchased by Russians on Facebook occurred after the election - and was designed to "sow discord and divide Americans", something which Americans have been quite adept at doing on their own ever since the Fed decided to unleash a record class, wealth, income divide by keeping capital markets artificially afloat at any cost.

And while Goldman was smited by his tech overlords and forced to retract his claim that swaying the election was *not* the main goal, President Trump happily used it to his advantage.

Facebook's army of arbiters

In order to combat the "discord" allegedly sewn by Russians, most of which happened after the election, Facebook has hired a fleet of people to review content, added to its security team, hired counterterrorism experts and recruited workers with government security clearances. 

They're also employing artificial intelligence to detect automated accounts and suspicious election-related activity. 

It has also tried to make it harder for Russian-style influence campaigns to use covert Facebook ads to sway public opinion, by requiring political advertisers in the United States to register with a domestic mailing address and by making all political ads visible in a public database. -New York Times

Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, Nathanial Gleicher, would not say whether they have found evidence of new Russian information campaigns. 

“We know that Russians and other bad actors are going to continue to try to abuse our platform — before the midterms, probably during the midterms, after the midterms, and around other events and elections,” Mr. Gleicher said. “We are continually looking for that type of activity, and as and when we find things, which we think is inevitable, we’ll notify law enforcement, and where we can, the public.”

We think it’s inevitable that we will find evidence, and we will find other actors, whether these are from Russia, from other countries, or domestic actors that are looking to continue to try and abuse the platform,” Mr. Gleicher said.

In short, Facebook and other social media platforms are under tremendous pressure from lawmakers and their political comrades to ensure that evil foreign actors don't influence hearts and minds in the upcoming midterms. Of course, it would be a shame if the free flow of genuine opinions was somehow destroyed in the process. 

Comments

spastic_colon IridiumRebel Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:09 Permalink

man the fake news is rampant today (i.e. July 31 EOM); it all started with a last day of the month "story" about a china meeting to ramp futures to close out the month.

"And according to Bloomberg, the social media giant removed a whopping 32 such accounts today, saving countless Americans from the truth." - fixed

FB eT. Al. would be surprised at the number of people, and the demographic of each, that know they are full of shit.

In reply to by IridiumRebel

Last of the Mi… Adolfsteinbergovitch Tue, 07/31/2018 - 14:23 Permalink

"Spookbook" is what it is. One big party line where everything is recorded. . . forever. You would have to be one big moron to believe Russia collusion and the evidence of Russia meddling still hasn't been released other than hacking a DNC server that may have had the passwords on Podesta's "Lost phone". 

Russia is the "bad guy" of last resort in today's politics of "Chicken Little" fear tactics. I fear Comey, Clapper and Brennon on our own continent a hell of a lot more than I do Putin and Putin is a known KGB agent with a history of killing off his opponents. 

In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

glenlloyd Last of the Mi… Tue, 07/31/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

Get out of that social media crap, don't give these asshats the business.

FB is just like a creepy stalker anyway, and while I recognize that the service is great for a lot of pre-boomer / boomer aging people who like to keep track of family, I don't advocate for it because it tries to do things I do not consent to. It also fails at segregating people so if I friend one person I can't keep that crap separate from everything else without jumping through a bunch of hoops and using groups etc. I don't need to hassle of that and the final straw is that their 'feed' is algo driven when chronological is reality.

Social platforms that do algo derived feeds can count me out. I want to see things as they unfold, not based on what some app algo tells me I should see stuff. Other places, like Strava, have taken up this algo driven feed idea and it's one reason I won't ever subscribe to their premium services, because for most things chrono is best.

If they want algo driven feeds then they need to give users the ability to turn it off.

Most of these social interaction apps are trash anyway.

And I have no faith that FB just found anything. How is it that some much shit happens right under their noses and they seem to be oblivious of it? This is just another ruse to pull something out of the hat that they would claim would help to support conservatives, problem is everyone knows already that FB is a trashcan of liberal turds anyway.

In reply to by Last of the Mi…

bluez sodbuster Tue, 07/31/2018 - 14:25 Permalink

20% of Assbook users have some compelling reason to keep using. %80 are just stupid sheep who just don't know no better. So we have a large self-selected group of stupids ripe for political manipulation.

The only real solution would be some sort of blockchain-style totally open system, which I hear is in the works. Then there would be intelligent users, but alas, no more loot for suckerberg.

In reply to by sodbuster

Bring the Gold Rainman Tue, 07/31/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

Right because Jeff Bezos is constantly agitating to have the government seize his $145 billion and redistribute it. Bezos is the very definition of Communist. I mean unless you actually realize that communism means precisely and ONLY one thing, state control of ALL property which of course couldn’t be further from the goals of the parasites who own those media organizations. They want total PRIVATE ownership of everything in the hands of the few which is BY DEFINITION the opposite of communism.

 

I swear to god you read these comments and they are just embarrassing. There is so much to criticize that’s valid when you talk about Bezos being a piece of shit, but he’s no more Communist than he is a Byzantine Cataphract. It just makes you look like an idiot and apparently 17 other idiots who can’t be bothered to learn a simple definition. 

In reply to by Rainman

MK ULTRA Alpha realmoney2015 Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:06 Permalink

Facebook has violated everyone's laws, they worked in foreign countries on political campaigns. They have stated this is legal because it's a form of consulting and the proof? a consultation fee is paid.

So Facebook is so powerful, they can manipulate political elections abroad, run the AI censor robot meant for China on us, host Kill Republican page which the congress baseball shooter was a member with no questions allowed to be asked.

The power of money reins over principal in the US, along time ago, America had honor, not today.

In reply to by realmoney2015

thetruthhurts chunga Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:32 Permalink

Funny my local paper MAKES ME have to have a Facefuck account  in order to post on their site...then they are always suspending me and blocking my conservative thought provoking comments.....so now I have eight different Facefuck accounts in order to keep posting....I guess I qualify now as a Troll Farm.  

They are coming for me guys!

In reply to by chunga

I Am Jack's Ma… PrezTrump Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:36 Permalink

Or Chinese or Israelis spoofing a Russian IP?

Nah that’s literally unpossible, eh?

 

I’m half kidding.  

 

In other communities US attacks on Russian infrastructure is also well known.  But like with soft and hard coups... they’re good when we do them.  But when Russia defends Russians from Ukrainian neofascists in territory that was Russia proper until the late 1950s after a US-engendered couo... its Evil itself.

In reply to by PrezTrump

Karl Marxist PrezTrump Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:45 Permalink

Why don't you cite specifics to your charge? If you won't or don't, you're fake news  and I know who you are, who owns your mind and for what purpose. And that makes you the enemy of America way more than Russia ever was or is. You are the enemy within.

In reply to by PrezTrump