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Facebook routinely bans profiles and pages from its platform for trying to cheat the system and fake engagement or mislead users.
But it’s not everyday that one of those networks is run by President Donald Trump’s former associate, Roger Stone.
In a post on its website today, Facebook’s Head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher that the company had removed four separate networks from its platform for “inauthentic coordinated behavior.”
The most notable of the four is a network that was run out of the U.S. consisting of 54 Facebook accounts, 50 Facebook Pages, and 4 Instagram accounts. Facebook’s investigation linked this network to and his associates.
The company also discovered links to the far right group, , which the company had banned from its platform in 2018 after deeming it to be a hate group.
As part of the network takedown, Facebook also Roger Stone’s personal Instagram account. The eccentric right wing personality, who has a giant Richard Nixon tattoo on his back, would still grab from bizarre meme postings on the photo-sharing platform.
Inauthentic coordinated behavior is against Facebook’s policies. The company defines this as the use of fake accounts and engagement in order to mislead the platform’s users about who is behind a particular Facebook page, profile, account or group and to obfuscate what its purposes are.
This isn’t the first time Roger Stone found himself deplatformed by one of the major social media companies. Twitter Stone from its platform back in 2017.
According to Facebook, it began looking into the network in an effort to track the Proud Boys’ attempts to sneak back on to the platform. The network would post about Roger Stone’s Pages, websites, books, and media appearances as well as Wikileaks, the 2016 election, local Florida politics, and Stone’s own trial.
Facebook’s takedown comes at an interesting time for Roger Stone as he is set to begin a 40-month sentence in federal prison next week.
The longtime right wing campaign operative and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” was found guilty on seven counts, ranging from lying to and obstructing Congress to witness tampering, last November.
In the lead up to the 2016 presidential election, Stone had attempted to contact in order to obtain hacked Democratic Party emails in an effort to help then-candidate Donald Trump. Prosecutors that Stone lied to Congress in order to protect Trump.
Along with the Stone-linked network, Facebook also took down a network of pages and profiles run out of Ukraine by an advertising agency as well as a network focusing on South American politics mainly run out of Ecuador and linked to a Canadian PR firm.
The fourth network that Facebook took down also had very interesting ties. This group of Pages, profiles and accounts focused on political issues in Brazil. Facebook’s investigation found that it had links to the offices of Brazilian President (and Trump ally) Jair Bolsonaro and his sons.