Putin Using Facebook to Sow Discord Among Black and Latino Voters Ahead of Midterms

    Facebook has taken down dozens of Facebook and Instagram accounts it says were part of an effort to sow disinformation and manipulate social media users ahead of the 2018 midterms.

    As the Washington Post reports, the pages were specifically centered on drumming up opposition to Trump. Just as in 2016, the accounts tried to rally Facebook users behind racial, gender and social issues to spread disinformation and manipulate their followers.

    While 32 accounts were shut down, Facebook shared the names of just a handful. Two, “Aztlan Warriors” and “Black Elevation” targeted Latinx and black Facebook users, respectively. Another, “Resisters” (written on Facebook as “reSisters,” according to the Post), tried to draw in feminists. An account called “Mindful Being” was also identified as part of the disinformation effort.

    Pages like Aztlan Warriors and Ancestral Wisdom focused on “racial pride and anti-colonial messages for black, Hispanic and Native Americans,” writes the Post. One screenshot from the Resisters page shows a sample post: in it, the account congratulates Los Angeles for abolishing Columbus Day.


    Notably, they promoted 30 events, which can be more significant than ads because they seep into real life. The largest of the events, which Facebook hasn’t yet identified, had 4,700 accounts interested in attending, and 1,400 people registered to attend, Facebook said. The Black Elevation page also offered to hire people to promote their events, according to the files that Facebook released Tuesday.


    White supremacists love them some Putin


    Part of GOTV  has to focus on hacked websites that seek to distribute misinformation 


    ICYMI on my news post, I found that Axios had a lot of documentation of the removed ads, the actual pictures, so people could see what the stuff looked like and said:

    Axios' Shannon Vavra also did a "Go Deeper" post on the story with a lot of pictures and memes from the pages, they are definitely lefty memes, but  overall a little on the hokey side, sometimes almost parody like or high-schoolish; she uses this collage of them to start the post

    Click "go deeper" at the link to see them.

    I would also caution that everyone I read reporting on this couches it with the cavaet that no one is 100% certain yet that this group is the same kind of Russian operation as the ones they know more about. Just that they have strong suspicions there is a link.

    It's been reported that suspected interference in 2018 is, in some cases, significantly different than in 2016.  Intelligence experts have determined (duh) that they have learned, adjusted and re-defined the ways in which they do their thing - which should surprise exactly no one.  Who learns better from the past than those who have studied their own strengths and weaknesses over multiple decades?


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