Tag: fake

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Twitter suspends fake Black pro-Trump accounts

Twitter said Tuesday it had suspended several fake accounts purporting to be African Americans who support President Donald Trump and which had succeeded in garnering several thousand followers in just a few days.

“Our teams are working diligently to investigate this activity and will take action in line with the Twitter rules if Tweets are found to be in violation,” said a spokesman for the San Francisco-based company.

Darren Linvill, a professor at Clemson University who specializes in disinformation on social media, published some examples of the fake accounts on Twitter, accusing them of using “digital black face.” 

“Yes IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!” said one of the examples he shared, under the name of Ted Katya on September 17. “Libs wont like that but I dont care!!!”

The tweet was shared 6,000 times and “liked” more then 16,000 times.

Most of the accounts “used images of real Americans in their profiles,” Linville said, and some of them had tens of thousands of followers.

Twitter suspended the identified profiles because they were deceiving users about their intention and their identity, and were therefore deemed to be manipulating public debate.

The company forbids using the platform “to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter,” according to guidelines published last month.

Under heavy criticism, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have mobilized in the run-up to the November 3 election to show they have learned the lessons of the scandals in 2016, when they were used to spread false or misleading information ahead o the US elections, some of them concerted campaigns initiated by foreign powers such as Russia.

The platforms have made progress in dismantling large-scale disinformation campaigns but now face a number of smaller-scale attempts to disseminate

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Fake Black Trump supporters appear mysteriously on Twitter, reach thousands, then vanish

Then, on Sunday, the account was gone — suspended by Twitter for breaking its rules against platform manipulation.

The remarkable reach of @CopJrCliff and other fake accounts from supposed Black Trump supporters highlights how an account can be effective at pushing misleading narratives in just a few days — faster than Twitter can take it down.

A network of more than two dozen similar accounts, many of them using identical language in their tweets, recently has generated more than 265,000 retweets or other amplifying “mentions” on Twitter, according to Clemson University social media researcher Darren Linvill, who has been tracking them since last weekend. Several had tens of thousands of followers, and all but one have now been suspended.

Researchers call fake accounts featuring supposed Black users “digital blackface,” a reference to the now-disgraced tactic of White people darkening their faces for film or musical performances intended to mimic African Americans.

Many of the accounts used profile pictures of Black men taken from news reports or other sources. Several of the accounts claimed to be from members of groups with pro-Trump leanings, including veterans, police officers, steelworkers, businessmen and avid Christians. One of the fake accounts had, in the place of a profile photo, the words “black man photo” — a hint of sloppiness by the network’s creators.

“It’s asymmetrical warfare,” said Linvill, lead researcher for the Clemson University Media Forensics Hub. “They don’t have to last long. And they are so cheap to produce that you can get a lot of traction without a whole lot of work. Thank you, Twitter.”

Linvill said he found some evidence of foreign origins of the network, with a few traces of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet appearing in online records of the accounts. One account previously tweeted to promote an escort service in

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Facebook removes hundreds of fake profiles tied to pro-Trump group

Facebook has removed hundreds of fake profiles it has linked to the conservative group Turning Point USA for carrying out organized attacks on the site, including attempts to influence public conversations by flooding news articles with pro-Trump comments and misinformation.



Charlie Kirk wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a flag: Photograph: Republican National Convention/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Republican National Convention/Reuters

The move was prompted by reporting last month in the Washington Post that found Turning Point Action, an affiliated pro-Trump group, was paying teenagers to post coordinated messages on the site, a violation of Facebook’s rules.

Related: Facebook announces plan to stop political ads after 3 November

In comments on news articles, paid users cast doubt on mail-in ballots, praised Trump, and spread misinformation about coronavirus. Facebook traced these profiles to an Arizona-based communications company called Rally Forge, which it says worked on behalf of Turning Point USA.

In a blogpost, Facebook said it had removed 276 fake accounts, including 200 Facebook accounts and 76 Instagram accounts.

Comments by the accounts addressed topics such as “Covid-19, criticism of the Democratic party and presidential candidate Joe Biden, and praise of President Trump and the Republican party”, Facebook said, adding that the efforts violated the platform’s policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior”.



Charlie Kirk wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a flag: Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, speaks at the Republican national convention.


© Photograph: Republican National Convention/Reuters
Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, speaks at the Republican national convention.

These fake profiles commented most frequently on pages of the Washington Post, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and the New York Times, the report from Facebook said. The networks initially became active before the 2018 midterm elections and went dormant until June.

Individuals behind the accounts used stock photos to create fake profiles, many of which were removed by Facebook’s automated detection software and linked to Rally Forge. “Although the people behind this network attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation linked

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Facebook removes fake accounts linked to Turning Point USA

  • Facebook has removed 200 fake accounts created by a marketing firm that was working for an affiliate of conservative youth group Turning Point USA. 
  • The company announced that it had discovered a coordinated campaign to use fake accounts to comment on news articles, writing messages centered around topics like the coronavirus outbreak and the 2020 election.
  • In examples published by Facebook, commenters criticized mail-in ballots, promoted big game hunting, and said Democrats “will do anything to screw over Americans.” 
  • Facebook said it discovered the campaign after reporting from the Washington Post last month found that the affiliate group, Turning Point Action, was paying teenagers to post pro-Trump messages. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook has removed hundreds of fake accounts created by a marketing firm working for Turning Point Action, an affiliate of pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA, the company announced Thursday. 

Facebook said it identified a coordinated campaign to create fake accounts that commented on other people’s posts after the Washington Post’s Isaac Stanley-Becker reported last month about a campaign to pump out conservative messages on the platform. Since then, Facebook said it’s identified 200 fake accounts tied to Rally Forge, a marketing agency that it said was working on behalf of Turning Point USA, as well as an organization called Inclusive Conservation Group. Facebook said it has now banned Rally Forge from the platform. 

In a statement to Business Insider, Turning Point Action clarified it had been running the campaign, not Turning Point USA.

“Facebook’s blog post in question was in reference to a project for Turning Point Action, a 501c4 and an entirely separate entity. The mistake has been flagged with Facebook’s communication team,” the statement read. “Turning Point Action works hard to operate within social platforms’ TOS on all of its projects and

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Facebook removes fake accounts linked to conservative group

Facebook has removed 276 accounts that used fake profiles to pose as right-leaning Americans and comment on news articles, often in favor of President Donald Trump, the company announced Thursday.

The platform also permanently banned an Arizona-based digital communications firm that it said was behind the fake accounts.

The move was prompted by reporting last month in The Washington Post that a pro-Trump group known as Turning Point Action was paying teenagers to post coordinated, supportive messages, a violation of Facebook’s rules.

Facebook and Twitter have been regularly removing fake accounts — both domestic and foreign — that try to insert themselves in the U.S. political discourse and influence the election. But social made companies face broader threats around misinformation and voter suppression that at times come from President Donald Trump himself.

The latest network Facebook removed became active before the 2018 midterm elections and went dormant until June, when the accounts began posting on topics including the coronavirus pandemic, criticism of the Democratic Party and its nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as praise for Trump and other Republicans.

Individuals behind the accounts used stock photos to create fake profiles, many of which were removed by Facebook’s automated detection software. Facebook determined that the accounts were being coordinated by Rally Forge, an Arizona-based firm.

“Although the people behind this network attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation linked this activity to Rally Forge,” Facebook said.

While Facebook’s investigation cited Rally Forge’s work for Turning Point USA, the work was actually performed on behalf of Turning Point Action, an independent political action committee, according to a statement from the organization. Turning Point Action added that it will work with Facebook “to rectify any misunderstanding” about its content.

Turning Point Action was founded last year by Charlie