How dark forces are trying to sway US elections again

The Facebook page of the Resisters group.
White nationalists clashing with groups opposing them in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year. The Facebook page of the Resisters was involved in organising a counter-protest to the sequel of last year's racist rally. PHOTO: NYTIMES
The Facebook page of the Resisters group.
The Facebook page of the Resisters group. PHOTO: ATLANTIC COUNCIL/DIGITAL FORENSIC RESEARCH LAB

Fears have grown that a widespread campaign to influence political opinion has begun ahead of the United States' mid-term elections after social media giant Facebook revealed last Tuesday that it had removed 32 pages and fake accounts attempting to engineer discord around divisive issues.

Eight pages on Facebook, 17 Facebook profiles and seven Instagram accounts were purged. Created between March last year and May this year, the fake accounts created more than 9,500 posts and were followed by more than 290,000 other Facebook accounts.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 05, 2018, with the headline 'How dark forces are trying to sway US elections again'. Print Edition | Subscribe