Facebook Reveals Countless Russian Bot Accounts Hacking Upcoming 2018 Midterms

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When even the most criminal actions are pulled off successfully without a hitch, especially when the president who should be calling you out and fighting back against your crimes, it’s inevitable that it’s going to happen again.

The New York Times reports that similar Facebook campaigns by foreign entities used to influence the 2016 presidential elections in Donald Trump’s favor is in repeat.

‘In a series of briefings on Capitol Hill this week, the company told lawmakers that it detected the influence campaign on Facebook and Instagram as part of its investigations into election interference. It has been unable to tie the accounts to Russia, whose Internet Research Agency was at the center of an indictment earlier this year for interfering in the 2016 election, but company officials told Capitol Hill that Russia was possibly involved, according to two of the officials.’

This is not the first discovery this year of social media attempts to support Trump and sow chaos and division. It was already revealed that Russian bots were using a manufactured hashtag and stories around the #walkaway campaign to insist that many social media users had formerly voted Democrat until they saw the light, most often when they began supporting Trump.

Facebook execs said in a statement that the current campaigns are very similar to those in 2016 that divided Americans along contentious debates in current events, such as the Black Lives Matter movement. The goal in each one was to eventually announce support of Trump and were supposedly being commented on by minority Facebook users.

‘Like the Russian interference campaign in 2016, the recently detected campaign dealt with divisive social issues. Facebook discovered coordinated activity around issues like a sequel to last year’s deadly “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Specifically, a page called “Resisters,” which interacted with one Internet Research Agency account in 2017, created an event called “No Unite the Right 2 — DC” to serve as a counterprotest to the white nationalist gathering, scheduled to take place in Washington in August. Facebook said it disabled the event.’

Facebook has once against promised to work to combat these efforts.

Featured image via Flikr by JD Lasica under a Creative Commons license