You may have seen the frightening headlines today about Facebook’s latest revelation: “Facebook Has Identified Ongoing Political Influence Campaign,” said the New York Times; “Facebook says it has uncovered a coordinated disinformation operation ahead of the 2018 midterm elections,” read the Washington Post. As the Times reported, Facebook was “unable to tie the accounts to Russia,” but “company officials told Capitol Hill that Russia was possibly involved, according to two officials briefed on the matter.”
According to CNN, one page taken down was a “No Unite the Right 2" march event, a planned counter-protest to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the violent white supremacist rally at Charlottesville. A source also told the site that an effort was made to push an “Abolish ICE” message.
All told, the network reported:
The removed pages had more than 290,000 followers, the company said. The most followed Facebook pages were “Aztlan Warriors,” “Black Elevation,” “Mindful Being,” and “Resisters.”
The company said the pages ran 150 ads for a total of approximately $11,000. The ads were paid for in US and Canadian dollars, the company added. In 2016, the Internet Research Agency had purchased ads targeting Americans using rubles.
But what did this nefarious campaign, possibly deployed by the Kremlin in its continuing quest to destabilize and undermine American democracy, look like? Facebook released some examples of posts from the pages that were “involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior,” so we can face this disturbing campaign head-on. Warning: This content may represent a frightening attack on American democracy. Do not allow it to sway you.
How DARE THEY?
My God. Can our republic survive being informed that a conditioned mind cannot comprehend the infinite? (72 likes).
Ah fuck!!! Fuck!!!
When Facebook released examples of Russian-backed pages from the 2016 elections, many of the images made a lot more sense as a political influence campaign: Trump supporters were targeted with images to whip up racist sentiments; Bernie Sanders supporters were targeted with anti-Hillary content. Some of the pages were awful and racist. Others were just fucking weird, like an image of Bernie Sanders as a swole gay superhero in Speedos, or one of Satan (apparently a Clinton supporter) armwrestling with Jesus, who’s voting for Trump.
My verdict on this latest batch: D-, must try harder. If American democracy can be taken down by a mindfulness meme, it deserves to die.