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Tag: Social Media

Facebook Provides Robert Mueller with Facebook Ad Data Involving Russia

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Information about Facebook’s discovery that an operation likely based in Russia spent $100,000 on ads on the social media site was turned over to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in charge of investigating alleged Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election.

Facebook said the operation promoted thousands of ads in the U.S. on divisive social and political messages, Reuters reports.

The postings ranged from polarizing positions on immigration, gay rights and race.

Reuters wrote:

U.S. election law bars foreign nationals and foreign entities from spending money to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate. Non-U.S. citizens may generally advertise on issues. Other ads, such as those that mention a candidate but do not call for the candidate’s election or defeat, fall into what lawyers have called a legal gray area.

Facebook announced the findings in a blog post by its chief security officer, Alex Stamos, and said that it was cooperating with federal inquiries into influence operations during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook briefed members of both the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees on Wednesday about the suspected Russia advertising, according to a congressional source familiar with the matter. Both committees are conducting probes into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, including potential collusion between the campaign of President Donald Trump and Moscow.

FBI: Florida Man Used Twitter to Send Child Pornography to News Anchor

Marchaun Browning

Marchaun Browning

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Florida man was arrested after the FBI said he used multiple Twitter accounts to send child pornography to a local news anchor.

Investigators said Marchaun Browning created new Twitter accounts when the news anchor blocked his tweets containing sexual images of children, ABC Action News reports

Using the IP addresses for each Twitter account, the FBI discovered the tweets originated at Browning’s Gibsonton, Fla. home.

A total of 163 child pornography images were found.

On Aug. 16, a grand jury indicted Browning with three counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

He was arrested Saturday.

Secret Service Investigates State Senator Who Wrote, ‘I Hope Trump Is Assassinated’

Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal

Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigating a Missouri state senator after posting on Facebook that she’s hopes someone assassinates President Trump.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal commented on her personal Facebook page, “I hope Trump is assassinate.” 

The Democratic senator deleted the post, which prompted an investigation by the Secret Service.

Chappelle-Nadal told the Kansas City Star that she made the comment because she was frustrated with the “trauma and despair” the president is causing by minimizing the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. 

“The way I responded this morning was wrong,” she told The Star. “I’m frustrated. Did I mean the statement? No. Am I frustrated? Absolutely. The president is causing damage. He’s causing hate.”

Chappelle-Nadal eventually deleted the post.

“It was wrong for me to post that,” Chappelle-Nadal said. “But I am not going to shy away from the damage this president is causing.”

Trump has caught criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for blaming “both sides” and “many sides” for the violent rally that ended in the death of an anti-racist protester who was among a group of people struck by a car driven by an alleged Nazi sympathizer from Ohio.

Homeland Security Enlists American College Students in Fight Against Terrorism

university of marylandBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s battle to stop the radicalization and recruitment of young people has tapped American college students for help.

The program, called Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism, gives students at 50 to 75 universities up to $2,000 each to counter online recruiting efforts by developing social media campaigns, the New York Times reports

Homeland Security and other national security officials judge a competition by students to develop online tools to counter recruiting efforts of terrorist groups like ISIS.

The University of Maryland placed first in the competition with a project, which was built around a video game and social media campaign, that teaches friends and neighbors to identify signs of radicalization.

“Who better to push back against the prejudice, bigotry and hate online than students?” said Tony Sgro, the president of EdVenture Partners, the company that created the program.

Other Stories of Interest

Secret Service Investigating Lawmaker over ‘Aggressively Sarcastic’ Anti-Trump Facebook Post

Maine Rep. Scott Hamann

Maine Rep. Scott Hamann

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigating a state lawmaker in Maine after causing alarm over a Facebook post about President Trump.

Rep. Scott Hamann called Trump a “half-term president, at most, especially if I ever get within 10 feet.”

The Democrat later said he regretted the social media post, describing his comments as “aggressively sarcastic and inappropriate.”

A Secret Service spokesman confirmed the investigation to Fox News.

“The Secret Service is aware of the comments in question and are investigating the matter.

“Allegations of any threat, inappropriate interest or unusual behavior directed towards a Secret Service protectee receives the highest priority of all our investigations.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigates Anti-Trump Gunman Who Shot 4 People at Virginia Ballpark

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game. Photo via Facebook.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game. Photo via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has taken over the investigation of a 66-year-old gunman who opened fire at a congressional baseball team, shooting four people including high-ranking Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who was in critical condition Wednesday night.

James T. Hodgkinson, a harsh critic of President Trump, was killed in a gun battle with police.

The FBI is investigating the background of shooter, his associates, social media activity and potential motivations.

According to the New York Times, Hodgkinson was living out of his van in the Northern Virginia suburbs and often posted venomous criticisms of Trump on Facebook. 

In the meantime, the ATF is tracing the history of the rifle and handgun used in the attack.

Dale Walsh, a friend of Hodgkinson, said the man was vibrant and positive when he was younger.

“He wasn’t evil,” Walsh said. “I guess he was tired of the politics.”

FBI Director Comey Compares Twitter to ‘Every Dive Bar in America’

FBI Director James Comey.

FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey compared Twitter to a “dive bar” where everyone is yelling their opinions.

During a speech to the Anti-Defamation League on Monday, Comey said he doesn’t tweet but he does scan Twitter to see what people are saying about the FBI, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports

“It feels like I’m all of a sudden immediately in every dive bar in America, where I can hear everybody screaming at the television set,” Comey said. “But it is free speech; you don’t have to like it; you don’t have to agree with it, but we will protect it.”

USA Today Urges FBI to Investigate Millions of Fake Facebook Accounts

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The USA Today has been swamped with so many fake users on Facebook that the newspaper is asking the FBI to investigate.

The newspaper, owned by Gannett Co., estimated that half of its Facebook follower are automated. Even after the social media giant removed more than a third of USA Today’s 15.2 million followers, millions more are fake as an average of 1,000 fake users “like” the page, the newspaper revealed

What remains unclear is why spam operators are targeting the USA Today.

“The continued presence of phony accounts hasn’t checked the social network’s user growth, but they can cause confusion and havoc for individual users and companies,” the USA Today wrote. “Fake profiles that masquerade as real people have also caused tragedy, such as the torture and killing of a university student in Pakistan after someone set up a fake Facebook account in his name that allegedly contained blasphemous content.”

“We don’t know why the scope of impact on USA Today’s Facebook Page appears greater than any other publisher,” said Shabnam Shaik, technical program manager on Facebook’s protect and care team.

In flings with the Securities and Exchange commission, Facebook estimated about 1% of its active users are “misclassified” accounts, which includes both fake accounts and those that violated its terms of service, such as pet accounts.