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Facebook removes Roger Stone accounts linked to ‘inauthentic behavior’

  • July 09, 2020

Facebook removed more than 100 pages and accounts affiliated with convicted Republican operative Roger Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, for trafficking in false information dating to at least 2015.

Nathaniel Gleicher, the social media giant’s chief of security policy, said Stone used Facebook to manipulate the public conversation in the U.S. That kind of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” violates Facebook’s rules.

Much of the activity, according to Gleicher, occurred just before and after the 2016 presidential election and included the posting of Democratic Party emails released by Wikileaks. The emails, damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, were stolen by Russian hackers.

Roger Stone, former political advisor to President Donald Trump,  arrives for his sentencing hearing at the Federal District Court in Washington on Feb. 20, 2020.

“We first started looking into this network as part of our investigation into the Proud Boys,” Gleicher said, referring to the far right extremist group with ties to white nationalism that was banned from the platform in 2018. “We identified the full scope of this network following the recent public release of search warrants pertaining to the investigation by (Russia) Special Counsel Robert Mueller… Our investigation linked this network to Roger Stone and his associates.” 

Favored treatment:DOJ gave Roger Stone favorable treatment because he is an ally of the president, prosecutor says

Ahead of the November election, Facebook is under growing pressure to police misinformation, hate speech, white nationalism and other harmful and divisive content on its platforms. A civil rights audit released Wednesday found that Facebook’s hands-off approach to problematic content, including posts from Trump, could suppress voter turnout

Stone was sentenced to a little over three years in prison earlier this year, following his conviction on seven criminal counts including lying to lawmakers to protect Trump and his campaign and obstructing Congress’ investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

The flamboyant political adviser, who has sought to delay serving his sentence because of the risk posed by the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to report to prison next week.

The deadly virus has killed nearly 100 federal prison inmates.

In all, Facebook said it took down 54 associated accounts, 50 pages and four Instagram accounts.

“The people behind this activity used fake accounts … to pose as residents of Florida, post and comment on their own content to make it appear more popular than it is, evade enforcement, and manage pages,” according to the Facebook statement.

More:Will the Facebook advertising boycott force the social media giant to change? Not likely

Article source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/629814185/0/usatoday-techtopstories~Facebook-removes-Roger-Stone-accounts-linked-to-inauthentic-behavior/

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