Creepy Facebook influence campaign targeted liberal activists, focused on offline events



Facebook recognizes fake accounts to try to interfere with the mid-term elections

Facebook discovered a new ongoing political campaign, allegedly aimed at influencing the mid-term elections. The company removed dozens of fake accounts and cites Russia could be behind the fraudulent pages.

The coordinated authentic activity that Facebook revealed on Tuesday shows that bad actors are determined by the influence of AMERICAN politics, sowing division and Americans against each other—regardless of whether they are making use of conservatism or liberalism as pipes.

In his latest research, which is ongoing, Facebook, said that they did not know whether the impact of the campaign is being coordinated by Russia, but it did confirm that at least one of the now-defunct pages short had an administrator linked to a Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.

The now-removed Facebook-pages to be generated of more than 9.500 in organic messages and were followed by 290,000 other accounts, according to the tech giant. The most followed pages were called “Aztlan Warriors”, “Black Height,” “Remember the Orphans,” and “Offer.”

Perhaps more ominously, the pages seemed to be the desire of the real world, criticism and conflicts. They know to create over 30 events since May of 2017, with the largest event show of 4,700 accounts interested in attending.

A screengrab of one of the pages that Facebook shut down.



For example, the “Resistors” page created a Facebook Event for a protest in Washington, D. C. on August 10 to 12, mobilised for the support of real people. The event was titled “Not a Unite of the Appropriate 2 – DC” seemingly billing itself as a counter-protest against the deadly extreme-right protests in Charlottesville a year ago.

“Of note, the events coordinated by or with the assistance of — not-authentic-accounts that have a real, organic and engaged online community; however, the meaning of the non-authentic activity appeared to be designed to catalyze the most incendiary impulses of political sentiment,” the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRL), which is the analysis of the non-authentic activity and accounts, said in a blog post.

According to the DFRL, it is reasonable to conclude that a number of fake accounts were of Russian origin. But researchers also acknowledged that it is increasingly difficult to determine the place of residence of the malicious activities.

“Their behavior differed in important respects from the original Russian operation. The most left less clues to their identity behind, and seem to have taken pains not to place too much author of the content. Their influence was, in general, lower compared to the 300,000 followers collected by the Russian troll account ‘Black Business,'” said the DFRL in a statement.

“This authentic accounts, who ran them, seem to have learnt from the classes of 2016 and 2017, and to have taken steps to cover their tracks.”


This is not the first time that fake and bad intentions online activity is linked to a real offline events.

U. S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of the beginning of this year showed that Russia-backed actors coordinated and phased offline events—including one where the Americans were hired to build a cage on top a truck with someone in a Hillary Clinton costume to promote the idea that they should be locked up.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular