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Monday, November 23, 2020

Facebook Detects 3 Russian-based Networks Trying to Interfere with Foreign Politics

As long as we’re heading into the final stretch of the US election campaign, this is a concern.

Facebook has announced that they discovered 3 new Russian-based networks this week that have been trying to use Facebook to intervene in foreign debates.

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The 3 networks are:

  • 35 Pages, 14 Profiles, 18 Groups, and 34 Instagram profiles which were back to the Russian military, tracked before by Facebook
  • 5 facebook profiles, a Page, a Group, and 3 profiles on Instagram linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency
  • 6 Pages, 32 profiles, and 8 Instagram accounts that have been detected linked to the Russian intelligence services

Around 74K people followed these pages on Facebook, 9.5k joined groups related to them, and 15k was following them on Instagram. So, it’s not a massive impact in terms of scale. However, the impact can’t be measured by the number of audiences as it takes a few people to make a huge community.

While estimating their aim, Facebook discovered that these communities were focused mostly on spreading content about geopolitical conspiracies and the US elections. Also, they reported rumors and misinformation about police brutality, foreign trade sanctions, COVID-19, and so on. Also, they all concentrated lately on the US elections and the two candidates.

Facebook post example
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Definitely, it’s not surprising to know that Russian agents want to affect the US elections, because we all know that they did that in 2016. However, it’s worrying to see something like this activity just 40 days out from the poll.

These new findings indicate that Facebook is making a great effort to detect and delete these agents as they are discovering more and more by time.

However, is Facebook detecting them all? Or these are just the ones that Facebook discovered? Are these other groups using social media to disturb the integrity of the US elections?

These questions can’t be answered at the moment. However, the discoveries show that these groups will diffidently not stop attempting to use social media as a tool to influence voters’ opinions. That’s in order to impact the final results of November’s poll.

Optimistically, Facebook’s detecting most of these groups before they have any bad influence on people of the US.

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