On Monday, in a series of announcements by Facebook, the company revealed it had shut down four new foreign interference operations originating from Russia and Iran. According to their announcement, one appears to be linked to the Russian troll agency, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), and was targeting the U.S. 2020 presidential election.
The company removed 50 Instagram accounts and one account on Facebook that originated in Russia and focused primarily on the United States.
“A small portion of these accounts also repurposed and modified old memes originally posted by the IRA,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy, wrote in a blog post. “The people behind this operation often posted on both sides of political issues including topics like US elections, environmental issues, racial tensions, LGBTQ issues, political candidates, confederate ideas, conservatism and liberalism.”
An estimated 246,000 Facebook accounts, about 60 percent of which were in the United States, followed one or more of these foreign interference Instagram accounts. Campaigns by the IRA reached tens of millions of users in the U.S. between 2013 and 2018 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
In the most recent round of takedowns, memes also aimed to create political divisiveness. One ad that is reportedly linked to the IRA was from an account called “Progressives for Future.”
Experts say Facebook and Instagram will be yet another playground for misinformation.
“We are seeing again that the aim of the Russians is not exclusively to favor one candidate over another but to create divisiveness within the electorate over all,” Paul M. Barrett, deputy director of New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, told the Washington Post. “The reason that networks of phony accounts are drawn to Instagram is because disinformation is increasingly visual in nature, and that’s what Instagram specializes in.”
On Monday, Facebook also announced a series of policy updates to fight misinformation like labeling state media. Yet the company is still standing by its stance to allow politicians to blatantly lie in ads.
News also surfaced that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan sent Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign staff recommendations earlier this year, according to Bloomberg News.
He ‘can’t understand why he is being impeached’: CNN reports Trump is asking ’why are they doing this to me?’
President Donald Trump is reportedly "distracted" by impeachment while vacationing at Mar-a-Lago as the United States Senate trial begins.
"A source close to the White House who speaks to Donald Trump regularly said the President has appeared 'distracted' by the impeachment trial that begins on Tuesday, telling people around him Friday night at Mar-a-Lago that he 'can't understand why he is impeached,'" CNN's Jim Acosta reported Saturday. "'Why are they doing this to me,' the source quoted Trump as saying repeatedly."
White House adviser warned colleagues Nancy Pelosi would eventually bring Trump down: ‘She’s an assassin’
In an excerpt from the new book "A Very Stable Genius," former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon predicted that now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would eventually attempt to bring the president down one way or the other.
According to Axios, the book states, "The night of January 23 , the first Monday of his presidency, Trump came face?to?face with House and Senate leaders from both parties at a White House reception ... At a long table in the State Dining Room, Steve Bannon ... could not stop looking at Nancy Pelosi..."
These 6 GOP senators have negative approval ratings — threatening Republican control in 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may not be in control of the body following the 2020 elections. In fact, he might not even be a senator.
On Thursday, Morning Consult released a new poll on all 100 senators, based on 494,899 interviews with voters. The survey had some major red flags for Republicans hoping to hold control of the chamber in 2020.
President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is putting enormous pressure on vulnerable Republicans, Morning Consult's Eli Yokley explained.