Facebook removes network of inauthentic behavior linked to Roger Stone – tech2.org

Facebook removes network of inauthentic behavior linked to Roger Stone

Roger Stone arrives for his sentence at the E. Barrett Prettyman court in Washington, DC on February 20, 2020.

Marvin Joseph | The Washington Post | fake pictures

Facebook announced Wednesday that it removed a network of more than 100 accounts and pages that posted misinformation on the company’s social network with links to Roger Stone, a former Republican agent and ally of President Donald Trump.

“Our research linked this network to Roger Stone and his associates,” Facebook said in a statement.

The “coordinated inauthentic behavior” network used Facebook to pose as Florida residents and post misinformation about local Florida politics, Florida land and water resource bills, material released by Wikileaks ahead of the 2016 presidential election in the United States and the Stone trial, as well as the Stone trial. their websites, books, and media appearances.

The network was followed by more than 320,000 Facebook and Instagram accounts. It consisted of 54 Facebook accounts, 50 Facebook pages, and four Instagram accounts. The network spent $ 308,000 on Facebook ads.

This group was also active in other internet services besides Facebook, the company said.

The company began searching this network as part of an investigation into the far-right group Proud Boys’ efforts to return to Facebook after the service was banned in 2018.

Stone was convicted last fall for lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering. The charges were brought by a grand jury as part of former special adviser Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Stone, 67, is scheduled to appear in federal prison next week. His lawyers recently asked a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, to delay their due date until at least the beginning of September, citing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in correctional institutions.

Stone has appealed to Trump for clemency, who has pointed out that he may be considering a pardon or a commutation of sentence. In June, for example, Trump tweeted that Stone “was the victim of a corrupt and illegal witch hunt, which will be considered the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”

Neither the Department of Justice nor the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the entity that prosecuted Stone, immediately responded to requests for comment.

In addition, Facebook also removed a network of accounts focused on posting misinformation in Brazil with links to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The network consisted of 50 Facebook accounts, pages and groups, and 38 Instagram accounts. The Facebook pages were followed by 883,000 accounts, and 917,000 users followed the Instagram accounts, the company said.

–CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.