REPORT: Russian Propagandists Used Facebook To Organize Trump Rallies In 17 Florida Cities During 2016

The Daily Beast reports:

Suspected Russia propagandists on Facebook tried to organize more than a dozen pro-Trump rallies in Florida during last year’s election, The Daily Beast has learned. The demonstrations—at least one of which was promoted online by local pro-Trump activists— brought dozens of supporters together in real life. They appear to be the first case of Russian provocateurs successfully mobilizing Americans over Facebook in direct support of Donald Trump.

The Aug. 20, 2016, events were collectively called “Florida Goes Trump!” and they were billed as a “patriotic state-wide flash mob,” unfolding simultaneously in 17 different cities and towns in the battleground state. It’s difficult to determine how many of those locations actually witnessed any turnout, in part because Facebook’s recent deletion of hundreds of Russian accounts hid much of the evidence.

But videos and photos from two of the locations—Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs—were reposted to a Facebook page run by the local Trump campaign chair, where they remain to this day. The Florida flash mob was one of at least four pro-Trump or anti-Hillary Clinton demonstrations conceived and organized over a Facebook page called “Being Patriotic,” and a related Twitter account called “march_for_trump.”

Read the full article.

  • Lazycrockett

    Zuckerberg needs to answer some questions in front of Congress.

    • Todd20036

      Like how did such a shmuck get such a radiant, humble pig…

    • james1200

      And Zuckerberg wants to run for president himself! Can you believe it? What a little twat! I’ll bet he would have shut all the Russian shit down quickly if he was the dem nominee last year!

      https://media.giphy.com/media/l4FGB5evzD8UQqVd6/giphy.gif

    • DreadPikathulhu

      Unless they can somehow tie the Russian influence to electing Democrats, they’ve got no interest in asking questions.

      • AW

        You would think that this would be scary to them. If Russia were to run against the Repubs and start trying to elect Democrats, well I’d still be outraged. Country and Democracy before party any day baby!

        • Chucktech

          But they wouldn’t Blanche, they wouldn’t help Democrats. Democrats believe in freedom and human rights and women’s rights and stuff that is antithetical to Russian oligarchs. No fucking way they’d do anything to boost Democrats.

      • If the GOP refuses to do it now, House Democrats will do it after the 2018 elections. Zucherberg cannot stonewall and still expect to be the Democratic nominee in 2020. (I’m not saying he will be the nominee, I’m saying he thinks he’ll be the nominee.)

    • bkmn

      The GOP would never do that to a billionaire, unless his last name was Soros

      • ElinorDRoberts

        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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    • crewman

      If I’m not mistaken, Zuckerberg met with Trump several times during the campaign and was very circumspect about what they discussed. I would love to see him pressed on that.

    • Gerry Fisher

      Given that it can clearly help to throw an election, we need to regular their ad generation in some way.

    • William

      Congressional hearings are a waste of time. All they are is politicians trying to get in front of a scandal and show what they are doing to stay out of the mire. Better to see the guilty on trial in courtrooms.

  • billbear1961

    FB is deleting evidence?!

    • Tawreos

      In this case I am not sure that it was evidence the way evidence is usually used. When the accounts got deleted the posts that would have proved the veracity of this story got deleted as well. Whether that proof is gone forever or just out of sight of the general public is a different matter entirely.

      • David L. Caster

        It’s somewhere in a backup.

        • billbear1961

          Best send in someone to scope scoop it all up!

          • David L. Caster

            Zuck should help with the case if he intends to save even a scintilla of his progressive street cred.

        • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

          Or, is it? 😉

      • The_Wretched

        True deletes are extremely rare (it creates database management issues and has other risks) and usually take an extra effort by the hosting company. The usual ‘taking down’ is just a flag in the data to not forward certain data to external customers.

      • DonnaLee

        Right, it was more of a “this is spam/fake”, so consequently taken down at the time. I’m much more upset at Equifax for not releasing the information about data security for over 3 months.

    • Jefe5084

      zuckerberg would probably go Bill Clintion on that question with “it depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.”

    • Gerry Fisher

      They were trying to delete the accounts that created the fake news. But, it makes reconstructing “what happened” a lot harder, unless Facebook cooperates more openly by sharing their backups and other records.

      • TuuxKabin

        Probably have to offer Suckerburg lotsa $$$ for that.

  • DoctorDJ
  • Chucktech

    Facebook needs to do a full throated apology for its roll in ushering in our colossally illegitimate fraud and vow to vigilantly guard against this ever happening again. This could be a “fool me once” episode from them. There’d better not be a “fool me twice” encore ever again.

    • Lazycrockett

      I think Zuckerberg can kiss his political ambitions good bye.

      • Chucktech

        Yeah, he’ll just have to settle for being a billionaire. Must suck for him.

      • james1200

        At least in the Democratic party. He’s probably a hero to the right after this.

    • Halou

      Unlikely. There are hundreds of millions of potential users living under dictators. And Russia in particular, Zuckerberg is competing against sites like Vkontakte so if he wants to stay on top, just as in China, he does as he is told.

    • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

      is it just me, or is anyone else getting the feeling that FB has jumped the shark (and not because of this)?

    • William

      Facebook needs to notify everyone who liked or forwarded a Russian propaganda story.
      “Dear Easily Duped Moron, “

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    The only known Russian FB accounts are the ones that bought pro Trump ads and paid in rubles. There may be thousands or hundreds of thousands more paid with other currencies.

    • Gustav2

      Wait, you mean money from a Cyprus bank?

  • billbear1961
    • AW

      This is a lovely portrait of Steve Bannon.

      • Tawreos

        Too thin, but otherwise the resemblance is remarkable

        • Andymac3

          If you squint your eyes you will realize that its eveyone’s favorite alt-fact mouthpiece Kelly Ann Conjob. Yes, her horns are showing, she’s trying a new look.

          • kareemachan

            My thoughts exactly.

    • Man, you are in a truly bloody mood today! You’ve posted some terrifying pictures. Here’s some love for you Mr. Bear!
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4000ce34127eefe328ad5c3de9c90633d1cdf46085b8a22a8232f18249f2285d.gif

  • DreadPikathulhu

    With all of the trolls that appeared during and the suddenly disappeared after the election, I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of online pro-Trump activism came directly from Russia.

    • boatboy_srq

      Not sure which is more unnerving: thst too many US voters are such small-minded, hateful bigots bent on murder and mayhem, or that a foreign intelligence service grokked that so thoroughly as to play the US electorat like this.

      • And willing to tear our country to shreds to rid the “stain” of President Obama. Wonder how the Texass school text books are going to spin his presidency?

  • billbear1961

    Meanwhile, at the occupied White House . . .

    http://33.media.tumblr.com/c6d39f607710516455d42e35679960a2/tumblr_ni3l8skiJI1t0demio1_500.gif

    Or is it the GOP Congress?

    Or the press, who protected our democracy so well in 2016??

    • greenmanTN

      That gif is from (I believe) The Man Who Laughs starring Conrad Veidt, which I’ve never seen. While still in Germany Veidt starred in a film produced by Magnus Hirschgfelds Institute of Sexology. Anders als die Andern is one of the first sympathetic portrayals of homosexuals in the cinema.

      Veidt is probably best known for playing the somnambulist in The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari and the head Nazi in Casablanca.

      (Sorry, you tripped my trivia button.)

  • bkmn

    As if I needed more reasons to stay off FB

  • Tatonka

    I ditched fb last year after reading that Ted Cruse used information purchased from it to build psychological profiles of likely voters. That decision has been validated a thousand times over.

  • another_steve

    Recent polling indicates that the orange sexual predator got a bounce out of his “compromise” with the Democrats over DACA and the budget through the end of the year – and possibly as a result of his actions during the recent hurricanes. After all, he didn’t grab the pussies of any hurricane victims, at least not on camera. Gotta give him credit for that.

    Russiagate, it seems, is having no effect on his poll numbers. It’s all too complicated and convoluted and most people have tuned out.

    • billbear1961

      FUCK them!

      • boatboy_srq

        No thanks. Too likely to contract an STI.

    • Chucktech

      Deplorables and party-before-country traitors could care and stoopids are too stupid to understand.

    • Tawreos

      Hurricanes and other shenanigans have helped to distract from Russia as well.

      • another_steve

        To MSNBC’s credit, they haven’t dropped coverage of Russiagate during the hurricanes and the Obamacare repeal reprisal. Their evening segments in particular continue to focus on Russia-related developments.

        I don’t watch CNN much these days, so I don’t know what they’ve been focusing on.

    • Ninja0980

      Sad to say but that was going to happen.
      And with DACA, so be it.
      I’m not willing to let Dreamers suffer to hurt Trump’s poll numbers.

    • Halou

      If you want to hurt Trump’s already comatose poll numbers you either get him to condemn Nazis (some of the few people still committed to him), or you get him to send an email. If 2016 has taught us anything it is that email communication is a death penalty offense.

      • another_steve

        Conventional wisdom has it that absolutely nothing whatsoever could affect the 32 percent or so of Americans who are devoted to Trump. Nothing. Trump himself acknowledged that during the campaign, with his “even if I shot someone on 5th Avenue” remark.

        If the Mueller investigation final report includes pictures of Trump in a Moscow men’s room giving a blow job to Vladimir Putin, the 32 percent would still give Trump a “favorable” rating.

    • Gerry Fisher

      Indictments will be good “infotainment.”

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Please hurry up Mueller! What’s taking so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OK, one last time, but I still cannot believe my tweet made Anderson Cooper’s ridiculist last night. So happy.

    https://twitter.com/AC360/status/910688405008338946

    • The_Wretched

      Go you :)!

    • Chucktech

      That was just great, sweetie, keep ’em coming!

    • boatboy_srq

      BRAVA!

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Ha ha That’s awesome!

    • Your fame spreads, whoo-hooo! Very soon you will be rubbing elbows with the fancy elite folks, and we can all say, “Remember when Rebecca used to drop by?”

    • stuckinthewoods

      congrats! (Decades ago when I was in neurophysiology I remember the prof pronouncing psilocybe ‘shroom as “sigh LAHS ibee”, but perhaps that isn’t American pronunciation.)

    • JCF

      Hey, I have the phone number of a superstar! 😉

      Congrats, Becca!

  • billbear1961

    The Usurper devours the undefended Republic . . .

    https://ih0.redbubble.net/image.192039382.8665/flat,800×800,070,f.jpg

  • billbear1961
  • Halou

    “Facebook’s recent deletion of hundreds of Russian accounts hid much of the evidence”

    Naturally. Articles about Facebook’s role in all this give me the impression they were knowingly engaged in the process. The ‘mea culpa’ removal of hundreds of propagandist accounts is just like when the Russian consulate in San Francisco was lighting up it’s fireplace in the middle of a heatwave.

    • I do belive that Facebook needs to be examined for treason.

    • -M-

      Presumably the archived data has been or soon will be turned over to investigators and law enforcement. Otherwise subpoena time.

      Turning over suitably redacted sample info to reporters and outside security researchers would be a good idea too.

  • Lars Littlefield

    Very interesting.

  • Hue-Man

    I’m seeking your guidance. I’ve steadfastly refused to sign up for FB and Twitter but now many websites allow commenting ONLY with FB.
    Should I stick to my principles and be silenced or cave-in and express myself?

    • Lazycrockett

      Create a fake account. That is what I use.

    • kareemachan

      I will not sign up for FB, and Twitter doesn’t like me because I don’t have a phone that they can text me on. So they can both stuff themselves.

    • boatboy_srq

      Think of it this way: your voice is louder in the streets and in your Congresscritters’ inboxes than on MyFaceGramChat®. And there are still a few places that are safe for commentary, traceable or not as you choose.

    • The_Wretched

      Stick to principles and ‘contact us’ the sites to say you’re never using FB.

    • Dale Snyder

      Someone in the UK phished my old computer through Fuckbook. ‘nuf said.

    • Ernest Endevor

      Lazie’s fake account idea is best if you must do it. Otherwise it’s bullshit.

    • Halou

      Stay off facebook. Zucker is a sucker when it comes to collaborating with tyrants and dictators, your data, if you do sign up, will be on Chinese and Russian databases before you know it.

    • Hue-Man

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m going to remain silent for awhile – see if Zuckerberg is headed for jail first.

      • TuuxKabin

        What Halou says. THAT!!!

    • grada3784

      If you do sign up with FB, use phony data. Same with Google.

    • I’ve made a fake personality for FB. The address I used for FB is used ONLY for FB. So far, ok. But there are a few really good resources found on FB for celiacs, like where to eat safely and the like.

    • stevenj

      Yes. You can have a life without FB.

  • boatboy_srq

    MRGA!

  • Gustav2

    Love those Steppe grassroots campaigns.

  • BearEyes

    da komrade – treason is patriotski.
    /s

  • JWC

    Wee Mr Fuckleberg has to realize that he has plunged Facebook into deep hot water. Depending on what his next moves are, wil decide the fate of Facebook Both Facebook and Twitter should come forward , cooperate fully and get ahead of this. So far Fucklebergs motivation has been pure geed

  • Gerry Fisher

    It pains me to see how easy it was to sucker so many Americans into this type of thing.

    • Tor

      Seems like there might be a way to turn a profit out of it.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    I can’t feign shock anymore, it’s giving me wrinkles and I can’t have that.