Photo: Getty Russia is using Facebook in the information war

The biggest social network accused of the help of Russia in the information war.

American channel MSNBC has released a story, which tells how Facebook “has helped the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

This information was confirmed by an employee of the state Department, working in strategic digital technologies Moira Veylan.

Previously, the social network reported to the U.S. Congress about the closure of the groups with which Russia could influence the outcome of elections of the American President.

Advertising political positions were not directly related to the election, but touched on pressing issues – LGBT, immigration, arms trafficking.

The administration of Facebook has also started work on a new principle of political advertising before elections to the Congress, which will take place next year .

1 November in the house of representatives will hold hearings about Russia’s interference in American politics. They are the representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Корреспондент.net understand how Facebook helped Russia.


Factory trolley

The investigation of Russian interference in presidential elections in America are conducted since the election of Donald trump to high office.

While Russia denies involvement, but States still can not find conclusive evidence that the elections were unfair.

In early September of 2017 Facebook said that some Russian company, has created a huge number of bots and fake accounts inside the social network bought ads with a total value of 150 thousand dollars.

It is reported that the buyer is a so-called Troll factory in Olginka, which is considered the main tool of Russian propaganda.

According to Facebook, the advertising campaign started in the summer of 2015.

Some of the ads directly concerned presidential candidates Donald trump and Hillary Clinton, and others touched on such controversial topics as racial prejudice and the rights of the LGBT minority.

In total, Facebook found about five thousand suspicious ads in the period from June 2015 to may 2017.

According to the head of security Alex Stamos Facebook, this is was tied to 470 fake accounts, which “were connected with each other and, most likely, was conducted from the territory of Russia”.

Trump has not taken seriously the investigation of Facebook and spoke about it on Twitter.

“Hype around Russia continues, it is now advertising on Facebook. What about the completely false and biased media coverage in favor of the Dishonest Hillary?”, – wrote trump.

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin does not know the customers of this advertising and never did.


Group in Facebook

According to New York Times, Facebook, the Russians had created the page, Defend the 2nd (Protect the 2nd amendment) for those who supported the amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing the right to keep and bear firearms, with weapons and characterized by tough rhetoric.

Was created and decorated in the colors of the rainbow page United for LGBT activists, defenders of the rights of sexual minorities. In

Facebook was even created by a group of animal lovers with the cute puppies meme that spread around the site by using paid advertising.

Conducting the investigation the representatives of Federal agencies and members of the leadership Facebook now convinced that these groups and pages were created within the framework of a carefully coordinated disinformation campaign.

So visit Defend the 2nd spread messages in support of the right to keep and bear firearms.

“Why do I have a gun? asks a young woman on one of the images, which seems to be associated with this page. Because my family is easier to get me out of jail than the cemetery.”

On another page called Secured Borders (to Ensure a secure border), continuously published inflammatory anti-immigrant comments.

One of the authors of the review Heart of Texas campaigned for the secession of this state.

And on the third page, called Being Patriotic (Be a patriot), attempts were made to organize meetings, to unite the people of the state of Florida in support of the candidacy of trump.

The purpose of the page is dog lovers were not so clear. But some analysts have suggested a possible motive: to recruit a large number of subscribers, and then gradually introduce political content.


The invasion of Ukraine

Russia at the beginning of the conflict with Ukraine three years ago actively used Facebook for political propaganda, says the story of the American TV channel MSNBC.

“This is 100% true. Many of us in the state Department was trying to help colleagues in Ukraine, Georgia and elsewhere. Facebook just wasn’t responsible,” wrote former Deputy assistant Secretary of state for strategic digital technologies Moira Milan commenting on the story on MSNBC.

This is 100% accurate. Many of us inside of the State Department tried to help our colleagues in Ukraine, Georgia and elsewhere. Facebook was simply unresponsive.

— Moira Whelan (@moira) 10 Oct 2017

Leading to MSNBC, referring to the publication the Daily Beast, reported that the Russian government in the information war successfully used technology to “silence the Ukrainian voice with Facebook, during the invasion of Russia in Ukraine”.

Technology was the fact that the Russians have found the Ukrainian activists who defended the position of Ukraine in the conflict with Russia, passed on their comments or posts and clicked on “report”. Whatever the content of the message, the Russian bots pointed out that it is pornography or other obscene content.

With government support, says the story, such complaints were hundreds on each post of Ukrainian activists, which led to their ban and banning in Facebook.