Facebook steps into election interference maelstrom

The social media platform known as Facebook has taken its share of hits regarding whether it has done enough to protect subscribers’ privacy.

So now we hear from Facebook that it has uncovered a widespread attack on our nation’s electoral process in advance of the 2018 midterm election.

The Hill reports: Facebook said in its post on Tuesday that “whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past.”

The IRA has gotten involved in this year’s election and Facebook is seeking to act as an Internet whistleblower.

The Hill continued: The social media company did say that while it lacked the “technical evidence” to attribute blame directly, it found that misinformation strategies carried the hallmarks of the IRA’s previous efforts.

“Some of the activity is consistent with what we saw from the IRA before and after the 2016 elections. And we’ve found evidence of some connections between these accounts and IRA accounts we disabled last year,” Facebook said explaining one case in which one of the inauthentic pages briefly had an admin who was also an admin in IRA page from 2016.

On a conference call with reporters, Facebook said that it used a “range of leads” similar to this to detect inauthentic accounts.

I understand fully that we are talking about a tremendously complicated process that requires equally tremendous sophistication to prevent. How does the world’s most sophisticated nation remain so vulnerable to this kind of cyber assault?

I fear we are heading for a new kind of war against forces and interests that are intent on disrupting our democratic process. As elusive as the enemy has been in our “international war on terror,” the cyber foes that have declared war on us are going to take this fight into an entirely new realm.

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