SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Removes Small Pro-Trump Network Based In Romania

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – Facebook Inc said on Thursday it recently removed a small network of accounts operating from Romania that had been promoting President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign with stories about his support from conservatives, Black Americans, Christians and followers of the QAnon web of baseless conspiracy theories.

Many of the 35 Facebook and 88 Instagram accounts posed as Americans, and some managed Trump fan pages, but they ran afoul of the social network’s rules on what it calls coordinated inauthentic behavior. In addition to misleading people about their location, some account holders ran multiple personas with similar names that posted identical content.

The network had  a small reach, with only 1,600 accounts following the Facebook pages and 7,200 tracking the accounts on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

Facebook security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher said the company was unable to tell whether the Romanian group was motivated by money, ideology or government directive.

The nonprofit Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab said some pages only shared content from Trump’s page, while others promoted QAnon, which connect various theories around the idea that Trump is secretly waging a war against powerful Democrats who worship the devil and abuse children. The FBI warned last year that QAanon would likely motivate extremists to commit violence.

Atlantic Council Lab Director Graham Brookie said there were no clear connection to Trump associates or surrogates, and Gleicher said there were no obvious ties to established commercial players such as companies that sell ‘likes’ and followers.

Facebook previously removed much larger and better-connected networks that support Trump, including one connected to the Epoch Times which was founded by supporters of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and often criticizes the government of China.

Facebook said on Thursday it had removed another network that reposted content from the Epoch Times and other Falun Gong media in a follow-up action.

With smaller than the network in the December takedown, the new one had amassed more than 2 million followers by posting on  topics including the Hong Kong protests, the coronavirus, and U.S. policy towards China, as well as posting animal pictures.

Other July takedown dismantled a major operation aimed at politics in the Democratic

 Republic of Congo .  More than a million accounts followed pages in the network, which sometimes impersonated political figures.

Facebook said it connected the activity to Congolese political party Force des Patriotes.


BUSINESS | LVMH Submit Disputed Tiffany Takeover For EU Clearance

PARIS | FRANCE – LVMH said on Friday it had submitted its troubled takeover of Tiffany, which is now at the centre of  a legal dispute between the two groups, for EU approval as it seeks to counter accusations that it deliberately stalled antitrust proceedings. The French group’s $16 billion acquisition of the U.S. jeweler … Continue reading BUSINESS | LVMH Submit Disputed Tiffany Takeover For EU Clearance

TRAVEL | What You Need To Know About Travel Guidelines In Saudi Arabia

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has released its updated traveler’s guide, which accommodates the ongoing pandemic after approving international travel for some exceptional cases. The new regulations entail that non – Saudis who are entering the Kingdom must provide a medical report of their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test and its negative results, … Continue reading TRAVEL | What You Need To Know About Travel Guidelines In Saudi Arabia

WORLD NEWS | Trump Awards Kuwaiti Emir ‘Prestigious’ Decoration, White House Says

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, to Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, the White House said in a statement on Friday, adding that it was the first time the honor had been given since 1991. The 91-year-old emir arrived in the United States in July … Continue reading WORLD NEWS | Trump Awards Kuwaiti Emir ‘Prestigious’ Decoration, White House Says

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi – Led Coalition Says Intercepts Drone, Houthis Say Abha Airport Hit

MILAN | ITALY – A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Thursday it had intercepted and destroyed an explosive drone launched towards the kingdom as Yemen’s Houthi group said it had it a target at Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport. In a statement published by Saudi state news agency SPA, a spokesman for the coalition … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi – Led Coalition Says Intercepts Drone, Houthis Say Abha Airport Hit

ENTERTAINMENT | Paris Hilton Says She ‘Feels Free’ After YouTube Documentary

There’s a scene in a new documentary about Paris Hilton, where the so-called socialite is speaking with former classmates from a Utah boarding school. They joke about how on her reality series ‘The Simple Life’, Hilton pretended to be clueless over many things – including how to perform any sort of manual labor. One bluntly … Continue reading ENTERTAINMENT | Paris Hilton Says She ‘Feels Free’ After YouTube Documentary

ROYALS | Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Ditch Royal Titles For Upcoming Television Event

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal titles were ditched for the first time in a promo video for their upcoming television appearance, The Duke and Duchess will be honored for TIME Magazine’s annual list of 100 of the world’s most influential people. ABC will air the special on Sept.22, the first time the magazine is … Continue reading ROYALS | Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Ditch Royal Titles For Upcoming Television Event

BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia’s July Crude Exports Tick Up From Historic Lows – JODI

MILAN | ITALY – Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports bounced back to 5.73 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from 4.98 million bpd in June, official data showed on Thursday. June’s exports were the weakest recorded in data stretching back to 2002. Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of the … Continue reading BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia’s July Crude Exports Tick Up From Historic Lows – JODI

TRAVEL | International Arrivals To Abu Dhabi Must Wear Covid-19 Tracking Device

ABU DHABI – International passengers arriving at Abu Dhabi airport will now have to wear a tracking device while they complete a mandatory 14-day home quarantine due to COVID-19, according to state-owned Eithad Airways. Daily infections in the United Arab Emirates rose this month to their highest since the outbreak started, which officials have largely … Continue reading TRAVEL | International Arrivals To Abu Dhabi Must Wear Covid-19 Tracking Device

BUSINESS | Israel, Dubai Diamond Exchanges Begin Strategic Collaboration

DUBAI – The Israel and Dubai diamond exchanges have signed an  agreement to promote cooperation in a deal certain to boost direct trade between the Middle East’s main diamond hubs. The agreement was announced on Thursday two days after Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed an historic agreement to normalize ties and marks a … Continue reading BUSINESS | Israel, Dubai Diamond Exchanges Begin Strategic Collaboration

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