Aren’t all pro-Trump websites based on conspiracy theories?
Courtesy of NBC News:
Facebook took down more than 600 accounts tied to the pro-Trump conspiracy website The Epoch Times for using identities created by artificial intelligence to push stories about a variety of topics including impeachment and elections.
The network was called “The BL” and was run by Vietnamese users posing as Americans, using fake photos generated by algorithms to simulate real identities. The Epoch Media group, which pushes a variety of pro-Trump conspiracy theories, spent $9.5 million on ads to spread content through the now-suspended pages and groups.
“What’s new here is that this is purportedly a U.S.-based media company leveraging foreign actors posing as Americans to push political content. We’ve seen it a lot with state actors in the past,” Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleiche, said in an interview.
The network had over 55 million followers on Facebook, almost double the following of Kim Kardashian West.
The accounts pushed anti-impeachment and pro-Trump messages while otherwise posing as everyday Americans. Sometimes the accounts featured obvious errors. One moderator of a popular “BL” page was named “Ellen Dancey,” but featured an AI-generated face of a man. Dancey’s sole post to his profile page read “Hello, wellcom to my face book.”
You might imagine that the poor spelling and masculine looking female avatar would be a dead give away, but then you obviously don’t know much about Trump supporters.
It should be noted that the Epoch Times, is run by practitioners of Falun Gong, who believe the world is soon headed for a judgment day.
So it is not like there were not plenty of red flags available.
Though as I said at the top I am not at all sure we can even find a pro-Trump website that is not focused on conspiracy theories and alternative views of reality.
I mean I guess it’s good that Facebook took this network down, but just imagine how much better it would have been if they had done so before it attracted 55 million followers and spent 9.5 million on advertising.