Facebook has removed 276 fake accounts created by the marketing firm Rally Forge, which was hired by an Arizona political action committee (PAC) called Turning Point USA to influence voters in the U.S presidential election with disguised propaganda and false information. Turning Point USA, whose mandate since 2012 has been to “identify, educate, train and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government,” has openly espoused racist, misogynist and xenophobic views and been linked to white supremacist groups.
The PAC’s covert social media activity was more subtle: they hired students to use fake Facebook and Instagram accounts to comment on news articles with pro-Trump, anti-Biden statements as well as disinformation about COVID-19. The latter point is especially egregious during a pandemic that has killed over 211,000 people in the USA, including Turning Point USA co-founder William T. Montgomery — he died due to COVID-19 “complications” in July.
Amid the news about fake Facebook and Instagram accounts, Twitter has reportedly removed a network of 104 accounts (operating out of Iran) that were actively attempting to “artificially amplify debates over the death of George Floyd and racial justice in the U.S.” ■
Cult MTL does not ban social media commentators unless they exhibit racist, misogynist or LGBTQ2-phobic hate speech, but in light of the current political climate and second wave of COVID-19, we will no longer tolerate misinformation or disinformation related to the pandemic.
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