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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 21:41

How Russia-linked groups used Facebook to meddle in 2016 election

Written by  CBS News

WASHINGTON -- The language was intended to stir up hate, using pictures and incendiary language: "They won't take over our country if we don't let them in."

The group behind the messages called itself Secured Borders.

But investigators say it was part of a Russian campaign to influence the 2016 election, CBS News' Jeff Pegues reports.

To that end, Secured Borders used Facebook's event and initiation tool to promote an anti-immigrant rally in Twin Falls, Idaho, a city it called "a center of refugee resettlement" responsible for a "huge upsurge of violence toward American citizens."

That was false, and the rally itself never happened, in spite of the Russian campaign.

"They are using these new social media sites, which is kind of a wild, wild West with very few rules, to influence the election," said Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"I think what we've seen so far from Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg," Warner said.

Facebook shut down Secured Borders, but there are other groups, including one that worked out of Texas. CBS News has learned that investigators believe there were many more, and are scrambling to identify them.

Read more at CBS News

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