“Coordinated inauthentic behavior” is the latest term coined by Facebook to describe the attempted disruption of the 2016 presidential election. In a recently released foreign influence report from the social media giant, a new covert threat by “bad actors” was discovered, eradicated, and published for all the world to see.
Except the “actors” they purposely omitted from the report – some of the most racially charged and divisive groups targeting the neo-commie liberals, Hispanics, and blacks to sow political discord.
Why would Facebook not include these groups in their report?
Sniffing out a Story
The news hounds at NBC were inspired to use a web archive search tactic and found the pages that Facebook deleted. They found two groups, Aztlan Warriors and Resisters, that had all the ear markers of the 2016 Russian influencers that were sent by Facebook to the trash can without so much as a mention in passing.
The Resisters were touting abolish ICE protests and alerted participants to bring “helmets, goggles, and medical supplies.” Aztlan Warriors were also stirring the pot with misinformation on Mexican child labor during the depression.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, spoke with reporters confirming they did not know the source of the pages and doubled down on the need for Facebook to hold back some information, as “Security is an arms race. It’s never done.”
How Are They Doing It?
Former FBI agent Clint Watts weighed in, explaining that page administrators draw followers in through generic messaging and then begin to increase hate rhetoric:
“The goal is to create fear in the audience that things are unstable and that democracy and its institutions are failing. The Kremlin seeks to infiltrate audiences along any and all divisive social issues, then once the audience is won, push them politically. The goal is to create fear in the audience that things are unstable and that democracy and its institutions are failing.”
But doesn’t that sound exactly like what each party does with the opposition? According to Democrats, the apocalypse is nigh – and has been nigh since the 2016 election. Still waiting for rivers to run red and locusts to descend on the fields.
Get It Together Already
As midterm elections loom, and whoever loses is poised to blame the Russians, what is Facebook accomplishing in their never-ending security “arms race”? Perhaps most notable is their ability to cover their own patooties.
Facebook published their counterpunch for lackluster checks and balances:
“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. We believe this could be partly due to changes we’ve made over the last year to make this kind of abuse much harder. But security is not something that’s ever done. We face determined, well-funded adversaries who will never give up and are constantly changing tactics.”
Yada, yada, yada.
Is the nation approaching midterms completely exposed to another go around with the Kremlin or is Facebook on top of this issue? Congress is finally doing its job by keeping the flame turned up on social media platforms, but when transparency is a spectrum of shades, and so-called full disclosure has reporters snooping for additional information, it does not give Americans confidence in their favorite social media outlet. C’mon Facebook, you have the technology. You can rebuild a bionic wall to keep those pesky Russians at bay. Just get a grip on the problem and rectify with a solution to last at least through November.