Roger Stone is thrown off Facebook and Instagram for using fake accounts run by far-right 'Proud Boys' to promote his posts - and Robert Mueller found the evidence

Facebook on Wednesday removed 50 personal and professional pages connected to U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone, who is due to report to prison next week.
The social media platform said Stone and his associates, including a prominent supporter of the right-wing Proud Boys group in Stone's home state of Florida, had used fake accounts and followers to promote Stone's books and posts.
Facebook moved against Stone on the same day it took down accounts tied to employees of the family of Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro and two other networks connected to domestic political operations in Ecuador and Ukraine.
CNN reported that Stone posted on Parler, the 'free speech' alternative to Twitter, to say: 'As they will soon learn, I cannot and will not be silenced.'
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, said the removals were meant to show that artificially inflating engagement for political impact would be stopped, no matter how well connected the practitioners.
'It doesn't matter what they're saying, and it doesn't matter who they are,' Gleicher told Reuters before the announcement. 
The Stone network was uncovered with the help of information unearthed by the Robert Mueller investigation, Gleicher said.
Goodbye to all this: Roger Stone used his platform to push Donald Trump - but was using fake followers, says Facebook, who are removing him from it and Instagram
Goodbye to all this: Roger Stone used his platform to push Donald Trump - but was using fake followers, says Facebook, who are removing him from it and Instagram
Canceled: Roger Stone was removed from Facebook and Instagram for breaking rules about using fake followers to boost his pages
Canceled: Roger Stone was removed from Facebook and Instagram for breaking rules about using fake followers to boost his pages
Controversial: Stone narrowly avoided being put behind bars for this image of the judge in his trial apparently in the crosshairs as he attacked her for being appointed by Barack Obama
Controversial: Stone narrowly avoided being put behind bars for this image of the judge in his trial apparently in the crosshairs as he attacked her for being appointed by Barack Obama
More hate: Roger Stone reacted to the death of Barbara Bush by calling her 'nasty, rude, vindictive, entitled' and claiming she launched a 'drunken tirade' against him
More hate: Roger Stone reacted to the death of Barbara Bush by calling her 'nasty, rude, vindictive, entitled' and claiming she launched a 'drunken tirade' against him
'We expect we're going to see more political actors cross this line and use coordinated inauthentic behavior to try to influence public debate.
'We want to make sure these assets, most of which are dormant, can't be reactivated and used in the upcoming election.'
Facebook officials said they took down Stone's personal Facebook and Instagram pages and his Stone Cold Truth Facebook page, which had 141,000 followers. 
A total of 54 Facebook accounts and 50 pages were removed for misbehavior, including the creation of fake accounts. 
The accounts spent more than $300,000 on advertisements over the past few years, Facebook said.  
While the activity dates back several years, Facebook uncovered the network as a result of the public release of search warrants from special counsel Mueller's investigation.
The fake accounts posted about local politics in Florida; hacked materials released by Wikileaks ahead of the US 2016 election; candidates in the 2016 primaries and general election, as well as Stone himself and his trial, according to Facebook. 
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg was briefed on the actions beforehand, officials said.
The removals risk further angering Trump and other conservatives who accuse Facebook of suppressing right-wing voices. Facebook last month took down a Trump re-election ad that included a Nazi symbol, and it pledged to steer users to facts on voting when Trump, or anyone else, touches on the topic.
Facebook is under pressure from civil rights advocates and allied groups as well, and hundreds of advertisers have joined a boycott demanding the company crack down on hateful and divisive messages. 
In search warrant documents released this April, the FBI said a Stone assistant told interviewers in 2018 'that he purchased a couple hundred fake Facebook accounts as part of this work.'
Facebook said its probe was influenced by the April search documents. But the company said that its unit guarding against coordinated inauthentic behavior had already been looking into Stone's pages after a referral from a separate Facebook team monitoring dangerous organizations, which was tracking the Proud Boys. 

Support: Facebook said Roger Stone's accounts were being boosted by fake followers including a prominent member of the 'Proud Boys'
Support: Facebook said Roger Stone's accounts were being boosted by fake followers including a prominent member of the 'Proud Boys' 
Graphika analyst Ben Nimmo, a disinformation specialist, said the Stone network had been most active in 2016 and 2017, among other things promoting stories about the Democratic emails published by WikiLeaks as part of the Russian interference effort.
Many of the accounts were later deleted, and in recent weeks they have mostly reflected Stone´s quest to receive a pardon from Trump for his crimes, according to Nimmo.
'The inauthentic accounts were amplifying various Stone assets, like his page, or advertising one of his books,' Nimmo said.
Stone has been stepping up his efforts to get a pardon from Trump before he reports to prison, where his family fears the spread of COVID-19. Trump has said that Stone was treated unfairly, and his attorney general intervened to seek a lesser sentence, prompting four career prosecutors to resign from the case. 
Facebook also disrupted a deceptive campaign in Brazil that it linked to the Social Liberal Party and employees of the offices Bolsonaro and his allies.
The network in Brazil relied fictitious personae posing as reporters masquerading as news outlets, Facebook determined.
Bogus accounts in Brazil posted about elections; political memes; political opposition, journalists, and most recently they posted about the coronavirus pandemic, according to the leading social network.
Gleicher credited press reports and congressional testimony in Brazil with leading Facebook to uncover the network there.
The Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Research Lab, working with Facebook, found 'duplicate and fake accounts that promoted Bolsonaro and his allies in various Facebook groups, as well as pages with hundreds of thousand followers that published pro-Bolsonaro memes and other content disparaging his critics,' according to a post by researchers.
'While the pages did not openly state that they were connected to Bolsonaro and his allies, several were linked to staffers of pro-Bolsonaro politicians.'
A separate network originating in Canada and Ecuador was focused on El Salvador, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Chile, according to Facebook.
This network posted about news in the countries it targeted, with topics including politics, activism, praise and criticism of political candidates, Gleicher said.
A Facebook investigation found links to political consultants and former government employees in Ecuador and Estraterra, a Canada-based PR firm.
Estraterra is now banned from Facebook platforms, according to Gleicher.
A network disrupted in the Ukraine was particularly active during the 2019 presidential election in that country, posting political memes, satire and other content including about Crimea, NATO, economic policies in Ukraine, domestic politics, elections, criticism and support of various candidates, Facebook said.
Facebook linked the activity to Postmen DA, an advertising agency in Ukraine.

Roger Stone is thrown off Facebook and Instagram for using fake accounts run by far-right 'Proud Boys' to promote his posts - and Robert Mueller found the evidence Roger Stone is thrown off Facebook and Instagram for using fake accounts run by far-right 'Proud Boys' to promote his posts - and Robert Mueller found the evidence Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:52 Rating: 5

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