Facebook said Thursday it had shut down a company that owned fakes accounts for the conservative group Turning Point USA.
Facebook reported that the marketing company Rally Forge, who works for Turning Point USA, launched a campaign based on fake accounts that criticized the former vice president Joe Biden and praise for the President Donald Trump.
According to the social media, this campaign included tactics such as commenting on the Facebook pages of major national American media.
The alleged activity was first detected through research by the Washington Post, which prompted the company to look into the team.
«Many of these accounts used existing photos and were presented as people leaning to the right. In 2018, some of these accounts had identified themselves as left-wing individuals to comment on content. "This activity mainly focused on commenting on news articles published by news organizations and public figures, instead of publishing their own content." said Facebook in a report published on Thursday.
"The most recent activity involved the creation of what we call '' thin-skinned people '', whose names were small variations of the names of the people behind them, and whose only activity on our platform was linked to this deceptive campaign. . »
Rally Forge has been permanently excluded from social media. As a result of the research, Facebook reports that has deleted 200 accounts, 55 pages and 76 accounts Instagram. About 373.000 accounts followed one or more of the Facebook pages, and approximately 22.000 people followed one or more of the Instagram accounts.
Turning Point USA said Rally Forge actually partnered with Turning Point Action. Turning Point Action is a separate legal entity from Turning Point USA, established as a non-profit organization that is allowed to engage in certain political activities, unlike Turning Point USA.
«This Facebook press release was about a project for Turning Point Action, a 501c4, a completely separate player", Turning Point Action said in a statement to CNN Business. «The Turning Point Action works hard to operate within the terms of service of social platforms in all its projects and communications and we hope to work closely with FB to correct any misunderstandings. "
The company did not exclude Turning Point USA or chairman of, Charlie Kirk, saying it was not clear if the organization was aware of the tactics used by the marketing company.
In a call with journalists, the head of politics security on Facebook, Nathaniel Gleicher, said the organizations the company recently removed were "newer" and have fewer of the previous features removed.
"So in that sense, we are actually seeing reduced yields and reduced operations," he said.
«We know that these agents will continue to try and we know that they will continue to try to find a way to circumvent the sentence. But what we have seen is that the combination of automated enforcement and expert research means that these organizations are smaller, take less time and reach fewer people before they are revealed.Gleicher added.