Fake Facebook event pages tried to entice real anti-immigration rallies


Facebook confirmed to the Daily Beast that it had shut down several promoted events as part of a "take down" of 470 accounts that spread false information or were in breach of its terms and conditions.

Facebook made waves last week when it acknowledged that Russian-linked accounts had likely spent around $100,000 on ads on its site during and after the election campaign past year.

The 3-hour protest titled "Citizens before refugees" was apparently held in Twin Falls, a town that's been resettling refugees for decades. One cached Facebook event which appears to be the same one flagged by the Beast had just 48 interested attendees, with only four marked as "went", a category that does not necessarily denote a physical presence at the rally. According to the Daily Beast, SecuredBorders had 133,000 followers when Facebook closed it in August.

The Daily Beast described the "Secured Borders" group as a "putative United States anti-immigration community that was outed in March as a Russian front". Facebook, the world's largest social network, said last week that an operation likely based in Russian Federation had placed thousands of USA ads with polarizing views on topics such as immigration, race and gay rights on the site during a two-year period through May 2017.

Although numerous events had already been deleted from Facebook, some remnants still exist in search engine caches.

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"That somehow that was something they didn't think was relevant, which is again why I think this is the tip of the iceberg". "I question whether Facebook has put near the resources they need into getting us all the facts".

The Campaign Legal Center, a Washington nonprofit that advocates for more transparency in elections, on 12 September sent a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg asking that the company publicly release the content of the alleged Russia-linked political ads.

The US intelligence community has concluded that the Kremlin at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the election. But, the Russian rabbit hole goes even deeper than the $100,000 spent on deceptive ads.

"Federal law has long recognised that American elections belong to Americans".

As Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including whether Moscow was assisted by any members of Donald Trump's campaign, Facebook has come under increased scrutiny for the role it played in amplifying Kremlin disinformation.