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The Daily Beast: Russians pretended to be Muslim-American, wreaking havoc in social networks

«The Facebook group «United Muslims of America» (United Muslims of America) was neither United nor Muslim nor American,» – writes in The Daily Beast journalists Ben Collins, Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman.

«Sources having an idea about this group, told The Daily Beast that the world’s largest social network it was a fake account, the traces of which lead to the Russian government,» – says the publication.

Sources have confirmed that a dummy account is used to buy ads on Facebook, addressed to their key audiences. He distributed information about political meetings, aimed at a Muslim audience. Organizational account on Twitter has been frozen, about the same time was closed and an account on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

Unlike other known accounts associated with the Russians, a group of «United Muslims of America» (OHM) acted on behalf of a real organization. The real OMA is a California based non-profit organization that promotes interfaith dialogue and participation in political life. Although it has existed for more than 30 years, at the moment, it is «not functioning», according to its last President Tashi Zaheer.

Zaheer recalled that «a few months ago» he saw a strange page on Facebook using the name «United Muslims of America», but could not exactly say whether it was a fake account that is associated with Russia, the article says.

«Organization with which I spoke and which continue to interact, striving for harmony between the United States and the Muslim world, says about OMA Eric Swalwell, a member of the intelligence Committee of the house of representatives. Many of these people, with whom I spoke directly condemn terrorist attacks around the world, including by Muslims. Of concern that their name was given to the Russians, if this is true, and is used in the Russian undermine the foundations of the United States – and it’s not them».

«This account was also conducted more subtly than some other, currently identified by The Daily Beast and other media outlets as related to Russia’s account in Facebook. Most of the content on the page was apolitical, positively portraying Islam and Muslims and debunks some of the most Islamophobic myths that Russia is simultaneously broadcast through the other accounts. This approach may have helped account to 268 thousand subscribers. But at strategically important points on these subscribers are suddenly bombarded with fake news,» the article says.

In April 2016 page published a video in which he said: «Hillary Clinton admits that the us created, funded and armed terrorists, «al-Qaeda» and «Islamic state», (…) but everything is still blamed on Muslims». Another meme depicted a grinning John McCain next to spreading misinformation about what «your taxes go to the funding of ISIS». This report said that the US «officially funded and help [branch «al-Qaida»] «Dzhabhat EN-Nusra».

Another meme asserted that it is not «immigrants from Syria founded IG», and McCain.

The strongest surge of political publications on the fake account was immediately after the American missile strike on 6 April 2017 inflicted by the Syrian government air base in response to the use of chemical weapons, the authors of the article. This measure marked the first significant step trump, directly contrary to the interests of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and April 9, fake page «United Muslims» indicated his dissatisfaction with the publication condemning that 93 million dollars spent on the impact «they could provide Meals on Wheels until 2029» (we are talking about the delivery of charitable dinners to the needy. – Approx. ed.).

Account front groups used in Instagram user name @Muslim_Voice («voice of Muslims») and had 71 thousand followers before it was closed in August. The account used the hashtag #StopBombingSyria («stop bombing Syria») more than 30 times in the last week of its existence on the Internet. Placed there in the meme stated: «97% of people do not know that Osama bin Laden was a CIA agent,» write the authors, stating that bin Laden was not a CIA agent.

«After the American fan IG killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, the community quickly created an event called «Support Hillary. Save American Muslims!», and the name Clinton was written in Arabic font style», – reports the edition.

«This latest discovery is likely to increase political pressure on Facebook so that it is released to the General public with more information about how the platform is used the Russian. Facebook refused to comment for this story, but not denied reports The Daily Beast» – the newspaper notes.

«Russia’s attempts to organize American Muslims in real life have been less successful than its pre-election efforts to unite supporters of trump. There is no evidence that someone went on the March «Support Hillary. Save American Muslims» in July 2016,» the article says.

The Daily Beast: Russians pretended to be Muslim-American, wreaking havoc in social networks 28.09.2017

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