January 25, 2022

Report and Resources: Facebook Says It Has Uncovered a Coordinated Disinformation Operation Ahead of 2018 Midterm Elections

From The Washington Post:

Facebook said Tuesday that it had discovered a sophisticated coordinated disinformation operation on its platform involving 32 false pages and profiles engaging in divisive messaging ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.

Facebook briefed congressional aides this week. A congressional aide said there’s no evidence that political candidates were targeted in the new disinformation effort, but that pages and accounts sought to spread politically divisive content around social issues.

Read the Complete Article

Official Statement/Resources

From the Official Facebook Statement: Removing Bad Actors on Facebook (via Facebook Newsroom)

Today we removed 32 Pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don’t want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they’re doing.

We’re still in the very early stages of our investigation and don’t have all the facts — including who may be behind this. But we are sharing what we know today given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington next week. We will update this post with more details when we have them, or if the facts we have change.

It’s clear that whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past.

Direct to Complete Statement

Additional Details: “What We’ve Found So Far” (via Facebook Newsroom)
Screenshots of removed pages.

Additional Details: How Much Can Companies Know About Who’s Behind Cyber Threats? (via Facebook Newsroom)

Additional Details: Sample Content (Downloadable; .zip File; via Facebook Newsroom)

See Also: How Much Can Companies Know About Who’s Behind Cyber Threats? (via via Facebook Newsroom)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.