On Tuesday, Facebook announced it had removed dozens of “inauthentic accounts” and pages it said behaved similarly to the Russian troll farm that targeted the 2016 election. At least 32 accounts and pages were pulled from Facebook and Instagram, and while Facebook has declined to identify the users as Russian, it has pointed out a number of similarities and links.
According to Facebook, activity around one of the pages, called “Resisters,” revealed a coordinated effort by “inauthentic users” to organize an August protest against the Unite the Right rally in D.C. The event has since been disabled, and Facebook said all 2,600 users who indicated they were “interested” in the event will be notified of what happened. More than 600 users had already RSVP’ed “yes.”
A prior event hosted by that page had been shared by a now-disabled IRA account. The page also listed an IRA account as one of its administrators for seven minutes, according to Facebook.
“Some of the accounts and pages had been connected with known IRA accounts at some point,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook, said during a conference call with reporters.
Facebook says the top pages, including “Resisters,” “Aztlan Warriors,” “Black Elevation,” and “Mindful Being,” were followed by nearly 300,000 accounts and spent $11,000 on 150 advertisements on Facebook and Instagram.
Cover image: Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., departs the 'Tech For Good' meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty Images.