Facebook takes down fake accounts linked to Trump advisor Roger Stone

Elias Hubbard
July 9, 2020

The flamboyant political consultant confirmed to Fox News his accounts either have been restricted or taken down.

Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy for Facebook, said that Stone's personal accounts were among 54 Facebook accounts, 50 Facebook pages and four Instagram accounts closed Wednesday for policy violations.

The network of more than 100 Facebook pages, accounts and Instagram accounts spent more than $300,000 on Facebook and Instagram ads to promote their posts.

The accounts, including Stone's personal profiles, have been removed from Facebook. Stone said in April that the released warrants "prove no crime".

The Stone network was faulted for breaking Facebook's rule against "coordinated inauthentic behavior", Facebook said. The users of the fake accounts posed as residents of Florida, sometimes using portraits in the public domain, and posted and commented on their own content to make it seem more popular that it really was.

Why it matters: Facebookbegan looking into the accounts as part of an investigation into the Proud Boys' attempt to return to Facebook following a 2018 ban.

The accounts linked to Stone, who is set to go to prison next week, posted on a number of topics mostly from 2015 to 2017, including Florida politics, Wikileaks' release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, the 2016 races and Stone himself, "praising his political acumen, defending him against criminal charges".

Researchers at the social analytics firm Graphika dive into considerable detail in their own report on the newly unearthed campaign, which was discovered in connection with newly public search warrants from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. A Facebook page called "Roger Stone - Stone Cold Truth" had 141,000 followers, and there were others associated with books he has written. Some were affiliated with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, though Facebook said it was not clear if he had any direct role in the accounts.

Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in prison after being convicted of making false statements to investigators during the Trump-Russia probe. President Trump said he would wait to consider possibly pardoning Stone until he'd exhausted all of his legal options.

Stone, 67, again on Monday asked to postpone the date on which he must surrender, filing an emergency appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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