Jul 31, 2018

Go deeper: See the political disinformation Facebook just axed

Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals

Facebook revealed today it has uncovered a new political disinformation campaign on its platform, which included eight Facebook pages and 17 profiles, one of which had 290,000 followers, per Facebook.

Why it matters: Some of the activity displayed in this campaign, including planning events, mimics the activity the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) ran in its efforts to influence the U.S. elections in 2016. Facebook has not yet identified who is behind this most recent campaign, but has removed the pages and accounts.

By the numbers:

  • The accounts created more than 9,500 organic posts, and one posting on Instagram.
  • They paid about $11,000 to run approximately 150 ads on Facebook and Instagram. The ads were created between April 2017 and June 2018.
  • They created about 30 events since May 2017, one of which had 4,700 accounts interested in attended, the largest interest in one of their events.
  • Five legitimate pages unwittingly helped create interest in some of these events, per Facebook.

See some of the sample posts from the pages:

Courtesy Facebook
Courtesy Facebook
Courtesy Facebook
Courtesy Facebook
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Courtesy Facebook

Go deeper

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

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Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.