On October 17th, Facebook deleted one of the pages of the Russia Beyond project, which was sharing recipes of Russian cuisine. This was announced by the editor-in-chief of the project Vsevolod Pulya.
“Facebook has deleted our Russian Kitchen page with recipes of Russian cuisine and photos with caviar, mayonnaise and that’s all. There were 40 thousand subscribers,” he wrote on Facebook.
According to him, at some point, all administrators received a message that “the displays of the stories of the community were limited in the news feed,” and after a couple of days “everyone received a notification that the page will show the country of residence of most administrators” to increase transparency.
“A day later, a notification came that the page was withdrawn from publication. That is, it is available only to admins, it is no longer public. We started to find out what was the matter. As always, there is no specific indication anywhere – a vague wording hangs in the profile: “You may have violated Facebook rules, sent spam or stole content.” And the “Submit Appeal” button. Ok, we sent an appeal,” he said.
As the editor-in-chief of the project noted, a few days later the “page just disappeared”.
“Without notice, out of nowhere. And for the admins too. And from Facebook Business Manager. Technical support is silent, chats are silent, it is impossible to reach Facebook,” he added.
A few days later, the page was restored but initially it was restricted in a way that didn’t allow its posts to appear in people’s Facebook feeds.
On October 21st, Facebook published a blog post saying that a number of accounts and pages were terminated due to connections to the Internet Research Agency (the one indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential Elections). Other accounts were allegedly linked to Iran.
“We removed 50 Instagram accounts and one account on Facebook that originated in Russia and focused primarily on the US. This campaign showed some links to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and had the hallmarks of a well-resourced operation that took consistent operational security steps to conceal their identity and location.”
At the same time, an FBI attempt to clumsily recruit “Russian spies” is being allowed on Facebook, no questions asked.
“The FBI obtains the best intelligence to combat threats through information provided by the public. If you have information that can help the FBI, visit us,” the three ads launched on September 11 urge in English.
The pictures say as follows:
“Time to build bridges,” and shows a drawing of a man crossing a bridge.
The other one says “Isn’t it time to make your move?” with a chessboard and an uncommon arrangement of glass chess pieces on a chessboard.
And the last one is the most humorous, as it is astoundingly bad: it attempts to say “For your future and the future of your family!” but the Russian word for “future” is misspelled twice, “your” and “family” are also written wrong and there is also a comma at the wrong position in the sentence.
This is yet another example of low effort and low-quality propaganda attempts by the Western establishment.
Facebook’s transparency tool, that was adopted amid the alleged Russian interference hysteria, shows that the ad was published on September 11th and is still up, since it clearly doesn’t go against any code of conduct, after all it doesn’t “originate” in Russia or Iran.
Media outlets who reached out to the FBI after CNN broke the news about the existence of the ads on Wednesday evening received a statement from Alan E. Kohler Jr., special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Counterintelligence Division.
“We cannot comment except to note that Russia has a large number of intelligence officers based in Russian diplomatic facilities around the world. They are very active and pose a security risk to the US and our allies,” said Kohler. “The FBI will use all legal means available to locate individuals with information that can help protect the United States from threats to our national security.”
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
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