Dozens of accounts on social networks were deleted for violation of the company’s foreign policy
Facebook officials announced Wednesday that they were blocking accounts associated with Roger Stone, a professional lobbyist who campaigned for Republican presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Trump, and in 2019 was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for cheating the investigation. The Facebook investigation found Stone’s connections to a network of accounts that spread misinformation on social media since the US election in 2016. Stone’s personal accounts on Facebook and Instagram were also deleted.
In addition, Facebook liquidated the network of accounts associated with a certain advertising agency in Ukraine and with the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaru.
The network associated with Stone was discovered as part of a broader effort to cleanse the Internet from shadow operations and thanks to information received during the so-called “Russian investigation,” which was conducted in the US by special prosecutor Robert Muller, said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of the cybersecurity division of Facebook. Stone has been linked to over 50 Facebook and Instagram accounts and dozens of pages, both before and after the 2016 election.
“We want to make sure that these accounts, most of which are currently inactive, cannot be reactivated and used in the upcoming elections,” said Gleicher.
Facebook revealed this network as a result of the publication of information obtained during the Russian investigation. Accounts related to Stone published misinformation about political events in Florida, laid out materials published by Wikileaks before the elections in 2016, wrote about the candidates who participated in the elections in the same 2016, as well as about Stone himself and the trial, as a result of which the presidential comrade He was convicted of false testimony to Congress, pressure on witnesses and obstruction of justice.
“Most of the content published by the network was material on Roger Stone – the authors praised his political acumen, protected him from criminal charges and demanded his pardon,” said the report commissioned by Facebook by Graphika.
The social network also announced the removal of 72 accounts and 35 Facebook pages associated with the Ukrainian advertising agency Postmen DA. Some of the accounts included in this network have been deleted for inciting hatred. This network was especially active during the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine. Page administrators and account owners published political memes and other content on, including, Crimea, NATO, the Ukrainian economy, domestic politics, elections and presidential candidates, including about Vladimir Zelensky, Yulia Tymoshenko and Petro Poroshenko.
A total of $ 1.93 million was spent on advertising and promoting these accounts.
Facebook also blocked a network of fraudulent accounts related to the Brazilian Social Liberal Party and employees of companies owned by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonar and his allies.
The network consisted of accounts that were individuals who pretended to be fictional reporters and published news about the elections, political memes, investigations of opposition members, journalists, and the coronavirus pandemic. The Facebook leadership learned about the existence of the network from the Brazilian press and from representatives of the country’s parliament.