Report: Facebook Pulls Down Chinese Election Influence Campaign

Mark Zuckerberg at Georgetown
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS /Getty

A recent report from the New York Times states that Facebook has removed fake pages created in China that aimed to influence the U.S. Presidential election.

The New York Times reports in an article titled “Facebook Takes Down Fake Pages Created in China Aimed at Influencing U.S. Election,” that Facebook has removed a number of pages that appear to have been created in China with the purpose of influencing the presidential election.

The NYT states that Facebook has detected Chinese operations that aim to both help and hurt President Trump’s re-election. The operations have not yet been attributed to the government in Beijing but may bring into question how China is attempting to influence the election.

The NYT writes:

Facebook said it was removing the accounts for violating its policy against “inauthentic behavior.” The activity was coordinated and originated in China, though Chinese officials, including the ambassador to the United States, have denied allegations they are seeking to influence the vote in November.

Facebook security first detected the new activity and shared the information with U.S. government officials. American technology companies as well as intelligence agencies have shown more willingness this year to release information about foreign influence operations, having been criticized by lawmakers for being too cautious in 2016.

While the Chinese-created network gained more than 133,000 followers, Facebook said it had received little attention in the United States, with fewer than 3,000 U.S.-based accounts following it. The group posted information both for and against Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden.

Nathaniel Gleicher, the head of security at Facebook, stated: “They were focused on driving division. The engagement with the U.S. was both nascent and limited. It was both supportive and critical of the major political candidates in the U.S.”

Read the full report at the New York Times here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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