Facebook Suspends 'Researcher' Who Faked 'Russian Meddling' in Election
Operatives from the Democrat party created thousands of fake Twitter accounts
Facebook has suspended the account of researcher Jonathon Morgan who was behad the fraudulent Democratic campaign to disinformation campaign against Alabama Republican candidate Sen. Doug Jones in October 2017.
The CEO of New Knowledge, a social media research firm who published a major report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections, told The Washington Post his Facebook account has been suspended.
Operatives from the Democrat party created thousands of fake Twitter accounts posing as Russian bots and linked them to Jones's Republican opponent, Roy Moore, to push the 'Russian interference' narrative.
Facebook said in a statement it had removed "five accounts run by multiple individuals for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior" and is investigating them.
"We've removed thousands of Pages, Groups and accounts for this kind of behavior, as well as accounts that were violating our policies on spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior during the Alabama special election last year," Facebook said.
RT reports: Facebook has previously been implicated by the US establishment of allowing Russia-linked pages to "sow discord among Americans," but this time there is no finger-pointing at Russia.
The mastermind is a reputable US researcher, whose bot-powered effort to drum up support for write-in Republican candidate Mac Watson while smearing the Trump-endorsed Roy Moore, was recently exposed by the New York Times.
The Times reported on Wednesday that Morgan and his team attempted to paint Moore as a Kremlin candidate, linking thousands of alleged Russian Twitter bots to his account and alerting the media to the fact.
Roy Moore just picked up a whole bunch of twitter followers. But they ain't from around here, comrade. pic.twitter.com/vJBPVxqWIW— The Ostrich (@ALostrich) October 16, 2017
My statement on this evening's NYT article. pic.twitter.com/lsJuRqiffL— Jonathon Morgan (@jonathonmorgan) December 20, 2018
A wide-ranging campaign was also launched by New Knowledge-handled accounts on Facebook.
According to the report, a specially created generic page boosted Watson's campaign, getting him TV gigs and more recognition.
Morgan admitted that he was in contact with Watson, but argued that his false flag campaign did not aim to endorse him or manage to influence the outcome of the vote.
The researcher argued the goal of the campaign was innocuous – to get firsthand knowledge of how the disinformation campaign works in a real-life situation.
In the end, Democrat Doug Jones celebrated a nail-biting win, becoming the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate in over 25 years.
Moore lost by 1.5 percentage points in what was described as a shocking defeat.
In the wake of the revelation, Jones said that he "was outraged as anyone else" calling for the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice to investigate New Knowledge's interference.
In an uncharacteristic pitch for a US lawmaker, Jones said that the Americans seemed to be a bit too obsessed with hunting for Russian meddling.