Kremlin used Facebook to promote political protests in US

Yolanda Curtis
September 13, 2017

Facebook confirmed to the Daily Beast that the events were promoted with paid advertisements, and that it "shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown we described last week".

Much of the propaganda campaign has been deleted, but the Daily Beast said one promotion unearthed from a search engine cache shows the Russian operatives using a Facebook event tool to peddle an August rally in a Idaho town that was said to be welcoming to immigrants.

Facebook Events was reportedly used by Russian operatives to plan political rallies in the US. We demand open and thorough investigation of all the cases regarding Muslim refugees!

The accounts, which were first reported Monday by the Daily Beast, created event pages with awkward English rhetoric. "All government officials, who are covering up for these criminals, should be fired!"

Only 48 people clicked that they were "interested" in the event, with four stating that they "went".

Although numerous events had already been deleted from Facebook, some remnants still exist in search engine caches.

The organizer of the protest, Secured Borders, an avowedly pro-Trump, anti-Clinton and anti-immigration community, was reportedly managed through a St. Petersburgh-based media conglomerate owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Pridozhin, a longtime friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Lets face it - the whole notion of social media and how its used in the political campaigns is the wild, wild West", remarked the top Democrat on the committee, Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia, on Wednesday, as he called for both Facebook and Twitter to testify in a public hearing on the issue. "I question whether Facebook has put near the resources they need into getting us all the facts".

The Campaign Legal Center, a Washington nonprofit that advocates for more transparency in elections, on Tuesday sent a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg asking that the company publicly release the content of the alleged Russia-linked political ads.

USA intelligence agencies assessed with "high confidence" in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a complex "influence campaign" involving cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns to undermine American democracy, hurt Hillary Clinton's chances and help Trump win the vote.

"Federal law has long recognised that American elections belong to Americans". Reuters reports that the company has already turned over information regarding these ads to Robert Mueller, the special counsel heading the Russian Federation probe.

Other reports by iNewsToday