Earlier today, Facebook announced the banning of 32 political pages and accounts suspected of “co-ordinated inauthentic behavior” linked to foreign agents.
Facebook said over 290,000 users followed at least one of the pages, the earliest of which was created in March 2017. Here are the key points from the social network’s announcement:
1. The pages were left-wing
The pages identified as “inauthentic” were all of the far left. They included pages such as “Resisters,” “Black Elevation,” and “Aztlan Warriors.” The pages repeated progressive talking points and set up real-world events aimed at rallying genuine left-wing activists. One event, aimed at challenging the “Unite The Right 2” rally, attracted 2,600 signups before it was shut down.
This is consistent with Russian propaganda on Facebook during the 2016 election, which included both pro-Trump and anti-Trump activity. (Democrats continue to dishonestly claim that Russian social media propaganda exclusively helped Trump.)
2. The pages boosted #AbolishICE
Facebook said that the accounts helped boost the #AbolishICE hashtag, a new viral campaign of the hard left aimed at building a movement to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The cause has been adopted by a number of Democrat politicians, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, New York mayor Bill de Blasio and congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
3. There’s insufficient evidence to prove Russia is responsible (yet)
Facebook said that the banned accounts and pages were more sophisticated in covering their tracks than previously-suspended pages that have been linked to Russia. The social network said they found evidence of “connections” between the accounts suspended today and previous accounts linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, but that it was insufficient to conclude that Russians were behind them. Regardless, Democrats quickly pinned the blame on Russia.
4. Facebook thanked a globalist think tank for helping them identify “bad actors”
Facebook singled out the Atlantic Council, a globalist think tank whose members include Henry Kissinger and Dina Powell, for helping them identify “bad actors” on the social network. “Atlantic Council have provided invaluable help in identifying bad actors and analyzing their behavior across the internet” said the social network, which publicly announced their partnership with the think tank earlier this year.
5. Facebook spoke to the government, politicians, and other social media companies before taking actions
Before taking action, Facebook looped in a number of third parties, including the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, U.S. law enforcement agencies, Congress, and other technology companies.
6. The crackdown hasn’t improved Facebook’s position in the stock market
Company shares continue to hover at around $170, where they’ve remained since the record-breaking 20 percent crash in the company’s stock price last week, the largest in U.S. history.
Update: This story originally indicated the “Unite the Right 2” rally has been canceled — it is still scheduled to occur.