aside Facebook Reports That Russia Used Its Services To Interfere With US Elections

Image result for photos of mark zuckerbergThe following narrative demonstrates how far Russia was willing to go to interfere in the 2016 US presidential elections’ cycle.

On September 6, 2017, Alex Heath of Business Insider penned the following report, “Facebook says fake accounts linked to Russia bought thousands of ads during US election.”

“Facebook on Wednesday (9/6/17) said it has found evidence that fake accounts “likely operated out of Russia” bought thousands of ads during the US presidential election that were designed to amplify divisive political messages.”

Image result for photos of mark zuckerberg

“Facebook said the ads were part of elaborate “information operations” in which “organized actors,” including governments, use social media to deceive the public and distort political sentiment.”

“The social network discovered roughly $100,000 in ad buys between June 2015 and May 2017 “associated with roughly 3,000 ads” and connected to nearly 500 affiliated fake accounts.”

Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was the first topic of discussion when Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump met at the G-20 summit.

“Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia,” Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos wrote in a post published on Facebook’s company blog, which also noted that the company has shared its findings with US authorities investigating Russia’s interference in the election.”

“The “vast majority” of ads related to the fake Russian accounts didn’t target a political candidate and instead focused on “amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum,” according to Stamos.”

Pat Bagley / Salt Lake Tribune

“The revelation follows months of reports linking Russia to efforts designed to sway November’s US Presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But Facebook’s announcement marks the first official confirmation by the company about how its 2-billion-member platform was exploited during the election.”

“Facebook conducted an examination of ads purchased over the past two years in response to mounting concern over “Russian interference in the electoral process” and Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation leading up to the election, Stamos said.”

Schot / De Volkskrant, Netherlands“Wednesday’s announcement by Facebook, titled “An update on Information Operations on Facebook,” represents a sharp turnaround from the company’s previous remarks on its role in the spread of fake news during the election.”

“The social network was widely criticized in the wake of the election for its role in the proliferation of so-called fake news, which many believe helped Donald Trump win the election. CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially called that notion “pretty crazy,” but Facebook has since made significant strides to eradicate fake news stories from its platform.”

Jeff Danziger / Rutland Herald

“In a research published earlier this year, Facebook detailed its attempts to thwart organized “information operations” that are increasingly used to sway political leanings through the spread of fake news and propaganda on its platform.”

“Through the adept use of social media, information operators may attempt to distort public discourse, recruit supporters and financiers, or affect political or military outcomes. These activities can sometimes be accomplished without significant cost or risk to their organizers,” Facebook wrote in the April report.”

Monte Wolverton / Los Angeles Daily News

“Facebook said Wednesday that its analysis of ads purchased before and after the US presidential election were consistent with the information operation tactics it had previously outlined. About one-quarter of the ads were geographically targeted and most touched on divisive topics from LGBT rights to immigration and gun rights.”

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6 comments

  1. Gronda, as we have lamented in the past, what you write here is not the least bit surprising. Russians have historically tried to influence our elections, but now with a puppet maestro in a former KGB agent, it is like shooting fish in a barrel. It had easily been expanded into influencing thoughts and behaviors. This is not “1884” or “The Manchurian Candidate,” this is real. And, at the very minimum, but likely far worse, we have an enabling President who in essence says “the media is evil and lies – only listen to me.” If someone wrote this story back in 1960, it would have been a espionage fiction thriller. I wonder how this sad tale will end. Putin on the rise? Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      What worries most is that because DDT and his sycophants refuse to admit to Russia having heavily meddled in THE 2016 US elections, that we are going to be subject to future increased meddling by Russia, bigly.

      There are not serious preventative measures being undertaken to prevent a re-occurrence.

      I make typos all the time. You never have to concern yourself about this.

      Hugs, Gronda.

      • Thanks Gronda. I think the Russians meddle 365 days a year every year. Their goal is to sway public opinion as well as elections and they are successful. If they were not, they would stop. Putin has been handed the keys to a very powerful tool in social media. Keith

  2. Even Putin himself admits to Russian interference in US elections:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/06/putin-russia-us-election/528825/

    FBI knew about Russian interference during election day and DID NOTHING!

    The FBI monitored social media on Election Day last year in an effort to track a suspected Russian disinformation campaign utilizing “fake news,” CNN has learned.

    In the months leading up to Election Day, Twitter and Facebook were the feeding grounds for viral “news” stories floating conspiracies and hoaxes, many aimed at spreading negative false claims about Hillary Clinton.

    FBI analysts had identified social media user accounts behind stories, some based overseas, and the suspicion was that at least some were part of a Russian disinformation campaign, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.

    The FBI declined to comment for this story.

    For the FBI, this was uncomfortable territory, given the First Amendment’s free speech protections even for fake news stories.

    “We were right on the edge of Constitutional legality,” a person briefed on the investigation said. “We were monitoring news.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/04/politics/election-day-cyber-threat-fbi-monitoring/index.html

    • Dear !EarthUnited,

      The FBI and the president dropped the ball. They are still not doing what they need to do to protect Americans from Russian or any other outside foreign entity interfering in our election process in future elections.

      Thanks for the reference.

      Hugs, Gronda

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