Facebook Alerts Congress of “Ongoing Political Influence Campaign” Ahead of Midterms
According to Facebook, it’s happening again, just in time for midterm elections. As per a company announcement on Tuesday, a coordinated political influence campaign (Facebook’s exact words) has been identified by FB’s security analysts. The respective campaign consists of inauthentic Facebook accounts and FB pages that are suspected to be involved in political activity, just ahead November’s midterm elections for Congress.
The intel arrived to us courtesy of the New York Times citing 3 “people familiar with the matter”, or something along these lines. It’s not yet sure this is the Russians again, but, of course, Facebook officials do not rule that out:
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
The dubious “political activity” discovered recently by Facebook luminaries includes promoting controversial political issues, like “Abolish ICE”, which incidentally is a core campaign promise heavily promoted by Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with a sequel of the now-infamous ‘Unite the Right’ rally, which took place last year in Charlottesville. As per an official report, Facebook suspended no less than 32 “fake accounts” on Tuesday, thus saving myriads of naive Americans from being manipulated in the process. If you were wondering what’s up with the Russians meddling in the 2016 election cycle, here’s Facebook VP of advertising, Rob Goldman:
The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Tump and the election. https://t.co/2dL8Kh0hof
— Rob Goldman (@robjective) February 17, 2018
Now, in order to mitigate yet another horrible Russian meddling in the midterms, Facebook hired a bunch of people, ranging from workers with government security clearances to armies of content censors (folks who constantly review content and so forth and so on) and “artificial intelligence” algorithms, to automatically detect and suspend bot-accounts and things of that nature.
And speaking of Russian disinformation campaigns, here’s FB chief of cyber-security policy Nathanial Gleicher:
“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”
Heaven forbid genuine people’s voices (conservatives and deplorables incidentally) were somehow destroyed in the process. Meanwhile: