- People have much love for the all-women moderator panel at the presidential debate Wednesday 10:03 PM
- Kamala Harris: Trump ‘got punked’ by North Korea Wednesday 9:53 PM
- Biden on domestic violence: We need to keep ‘punching’ Wednesday 9:47 PM
- Amy Klobuchar says she raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends Wednesday 9:16 PM
- Trump’s campaign is a fan of Tulsi Gabbard’s attack on the Democratic party Wednesday 9:07 PM
- 50 Cent makes Instagram return with transphobic meme Wednesday 8:34 PM
- Lyft driver attacks female passenger after she refused to turn off music Wednesday 7:30 PM
- J.J. Watt posted his phone number online, wants fans to text him Wednesday 6:22 PM
- How a normal redditor becomes a conspiracy theorist Wednesday 5:48 PM
- ‘Bikram’ is not a great film, but it is a document of justice Wednesday 5:43 PM
- Congress is concerned Amazon isn’t safeguarding Ring videos Wednesday 5:40 PM
- Twitter urged to suspend Tory Party Twitter account after it ‘misled’ the public Wednesday 4:56 PM
- This former stripper has the best Humans of New York story of all time Wednesday 4:47 PM
- How to watch tonight’s 2020 Democratic debate Wednesday 4:21 PM
- ‘Dollface’ offers a narrow vision of womanhood Wednesday 3:56 PM
The Daily Beast reports that the Facebook group United Muslims of America was an impostor account run by people traced back to the Russian government that pushed memes claiming Hillary Clinton “created” al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State, and that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) created the group. It also reportedly posted that Osama bin Laden was a “CIA agent.”
Sources for the news website confirmed that the United Muslims of America group bought Facebook advertisements and used Twitter and Instagram accounts as well. All of the social media accounts have been deleted.
The Daily Beast’s report comes as Facebook is under increased scrutiny for its role in helping spread fake news during the 2016 election, particularly as Russian-backed agents spread misinformation to help elect President Donald Trump.
Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it sold $100,000 worth of ads to a Russian “troll farm” and found roughly 470 inauthentic accounts and pages it believed were “affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia.”
United Muslims of America is an actual organization. While it isn’t currently active, it has been part of various events over the past 30 years, the website reports. The former president of the real United Muslims of America had seen an unfamiliar Facebook page using the organization’s moniker “several months ago.”
Not all of the postings by the fake account were fake news. Much of the content debunked Islamaphobic myths and rhetoric, the Daily Beast reports, but would pivot to incendiary content at “strategic moments.”
The group posted a video that claimed Clinton “funded and armed” al-Qaeda and posted a meme of McCain with the text “want to know how your tax dollars are funding ISIS?”
You can read all of the Daily Beast’s report here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).