SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Suspends Disinformation Network Tied To Staff Of Brazil’s Bolsonaro

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – Facebook Inc on Wednesday suspended a network of social media accounts it said were used to spread divisive political messages online by employees of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and two of  his sons.

The company said that despite efforts to disguise who was behind the activity, it found links to staff of two Brazilian lawmakers, as well as the president and his sons, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro and Senator Flavio Bolsonaro.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said the accounts were removed for using fake personas and other types of ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’, which violated the company’s rules.

He said there was no evidence the politicians themselves had operated the accounts. ‘What we can prove is that employees of those offices are engaged on our platforms in this type of behavior’, he told Reuters ahead of the announcement on the company’s blog.

Facebook said it has also suspended three other network on Wednesday, including one it attributed to Roger Stone, a longtime friend and adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Brazilian president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The allegations by Facebook add to a burgeoning political crisis in Brazil, where Bolsonaro’s sons and supporters have been accused of running a coordinated online campaign to smear the president’s opponents.

The accusations have spurred a congressional inquiry and a separate Supreme Court investigation into so-called ‘fake news attacks’ on the country’s judiciary, which led to police raids in May on the homes and offices of Bolsonaro allies.

Bolsonaro, who is also under mounting criticism over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, has said the court’s investigation is unconstitutional and risks establishing censorship in Brazil by policing what people can say online.

Facebook has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks to better police how political groups use its platform. Hundreds of advertisers have joined a boycott aimed at forcing the company to block hate speech on its site, and multiple employees walked out last month over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to challenge inflammatory posts Trump.

Gleicher said his team had identified and suspended more than 80 accounts of Facebook and its photo-sharing site, Instagram, as part of the Brazilian network. The accounts had amassed 1.8 million followers, he said, and some dated back to 2018.

Researchers at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, who spend a week analyzing the activity identified by Facebook, said they had found five current and formers political staffers who registered and operated the accounts.

Some of those accounts posed as fake Brazilians and news outlets to spread ‘hyper-partisan views’ supporting Bolsonaro and attacking his critics, said researcher Luiza Bandeira. Their targets included  opposition lawmakers, former ministers and members of Brazil’s Supreme Court.

More recently, the accounts also amplified Bolsonaro’s claims that the risks of the coronavirus pandemic are exaggerated. The disease has killed more than 66,000 people in Brazil and Bolsonaro himself tested positive this week.

‘We have known for a long time that when people disagree with Bolsonaro they are targeted by this machine that uses online disinformation to mock and discredit them’, said Bandeira.

‘So knowing now that part of these attacks are coming from people directly related to the Bolsonaro family, that explains a lot’.


G20 NEWS | Saudi Arabia Hosts Global Summit To Discuss Challenges Facing Entrepreneurs

President of the G20 Young Entrepreneurship Alliance (YES) Summit 2020 has affirmed that various initiatives have been prepared to be presented during meetings of G20 Leaders. In a press conference on Monday in Riyadh, Prince Fahd bin Mansour bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz said the Kingdom will host the two-day YEA Virtual Summit on Oct.29. More … Continue reading G20 NEWS | Saudi Arabia Hosts Global Summit To Discuss Challenges Facing Entrepreneurs

BREAKING NEWS | France Warns Citizens To Be Cautious As Anger Seethes In Muslim World Over Cartoons

PARIS | FRANCE – France warned its citizens living or traveling in several Muslim-majority countries to take extra security precautions on Tuesday as anger surged over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. In a sign that some countries want to limit the fallout, Saudi Arabia condemned the cartoons but held back from echoing calls by other … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | France Warns Citizens To Be Cautious As Anger Seethes In Muslim World Over Cartoons

ROYALS | Prince Harry Says Upbringing Blinded Him To Unconscious Racial Bias

Britain’s Prince Harry said it took him years to realize that unconscious racial bias existed and his eyes had been opened by spending time in his wife Meghan’s shoes. The prince spoke during a conversation about racism with Patrick Hutchinson, the Black activist who was photographed by Reuters carrying a white man to safety during … Continue reading ROYALS | Prince Harry Says Upbringing Blinded Him To Unconscious Racial Bias

BUSINESS | Mercedes-Benz to lift Aston Martin Stake To Up to 20% By 2023

MILAN | ITALY – Daimler unit Mercedes-Benz is to lift its stake in Britain’s Aston Martin to up to 20% by 2023, making it one of the struggling British carmaker’s largest shareholders, Aston said on Tuesday. Aston Martin, popular for being James Bond’s carmaker of choice, has suffered a torrid time since it floated two … Continue reading BUSINESS | Mercedes-Benz to lift Aston Martin Stake To Up to 20% By 2023

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Holds Off From Backing Action Against France Over Cartoons

RIYADH | SAUDIA RABIA – Saudi Arabia condemned cartoons offending the Prophet Mohammad, but held back from echoing calls by other Muslims states for action against images being displayed in France of the Prophet. A foreign ministry official also said in a statement that the Gulf state condemns all acts of terrorism, and apparent reference … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Holds Off From Backing Action Against France Over Cartoons

BREAKING NEWS | Arac De Triomphe Bomb Alert In Paris Lifted – Police

PARIS | FRANCE – The areas around the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower in central Paris have been reopened after briefly being evacuated on Tuesday in central Paris have been reopened after briefly being evacuated on Tuesday for security alerts, police told Reuters. The Arc de Triomphe area and surrounding subway stations had been … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Arac De Triomphe Bomb Alert In Paris Lifted – Police

BUSINESS | Jean Novel Concept Designs For Sharaan Resort In AlUla Unveiled

New concept designs for the Sharaan by Jean Nouvel resort revealed today after a deeper understanding of the architect’s daring vision for AlUla, the cultural oasis in north-west Arabia. Located deep within the Sharaan Nature Reserve, the design draw on the nearby Nabataean wonders of Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. In a … Continue reading BUSINESS | Jean Novel Concept Designs For Sharaan Resort In AlUla Unveiled

NEWS ALERT | Insulting Muslims is an abuse of free speech, Iran’s Zarif Says

MILAN | ITALY – Insulting Muslims is an ‘opportunistic’ abuse of free speech, Iran’s foreign minister said on Monday, in an apparent reference to remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron perceived to be critical of Islam. ‘Muslims are the primary victims of the ‘cult of hatred’, the minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, tweeted, without directly addressing … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Insulting Muslims is an abuse of free speech, Iran’s Zarif Says

BREAKING NEWS | Pakistan’s PM Takes Aim At Macron; Asks Facebook To Ban Islamophobic Content

MILAN | ITALY – – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Facebook to ban Islamophobic content on its platform, warning of a spike in radicalization Muslims, hours after he hit out at the French president for ‘attacking Islam’. Pakistan summoned the French ambassador in Islamabad as anger spread on Monday over President Emmanuel Macron’s … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Pakistan’s PM Takes Aim At Macron; Asks Facebook To Ban Islamophobic Content

G20 SAUDI ARABIA | King Salman Says Pandemic Proved Flexibility, Strength Of Saudi Economy

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz stressed on Monday that the novel coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the flexibility and strength of the Saudi economy. In an address before the Business 20, he said: ‘We are determined to boost development and prosperity through empowerment and investment in new sectors’. Minister of Investment Khalid … Continue reading G20 SAUDI ARABIA | King Salman Says Pandemic Proved Flexibility, Strength Of Saudi Economy

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s