WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Facebook said on Wednesday it removed 54 Facebook accounts, 50 Pages, and 4 Instagram accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior in the United States which were connected to former Trump campaign aide Roger Stone and his associates.
“TThe people behind this activity used fake accounts — some of which had already been detected and disabled by our automated systems — to pose as residents of Florida, post and comment on their own content to make it appear more popular than it is, evade enforcement, and manage Pages”, Facebook said in a statement. “Our investigation linked this network to Roger Stone and his associates”.
According to Facebook, the network was most active between 2015 and 2017, with the majority of accounts becoming inactive since then and some of them being deleted by users.
“The Page admins and account owners posted about local politics in Florida, Roger Stone and his Pages, websites, books, and media appearances, a Florida land and water resources bill, the hacked materials released by Wikileaks ahead of the US 2016 election, candidates in the 2016 primaries and general election, and the Roger Stone trial”, the release read.
The Stone-linked network used Facebook to pose as Florida residents and post misinformation regarding local politics in Florida, the company said. The network was followed by more than 320,000 accounts across Facebook and Instagram.
Stone is one of six Trump associates who were convicted following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. The charges brought by the Special Counsel stem largely from accusations that Stone made false statements to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee concerning his contacts with the publishing platform WikiLeaks while serving as a liaison between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and the organization.
The 67-year-old Stone, who is due to report to federal prison next week, has asked for clemency from Trump, and the president has that he may grant an outright pardon or commutation of sentence.
In June, Trump tweeted that Stone “was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”