Evidence has come to light indicating Russia was behind an anti-immigrant protest set to take place last summer in Twin Falls. The revelation comes as more proof the hostile foreign power tried to shape events in the run-up to last year’s election.
Using Facebook, a Russian front group called “Secured Borders” made an event for August 27, 2016 at the Twin Falls City Council Chamber, according to the Daily Beast. Christened “Citizens Before Refugees,” a description of the event on the social media site said refugee resettlement resulted in violence towards Americans.
Facebook recently admitted it promoted content and sold ads purchased by Russian outlets in the months before the 2016 election. Former FBI agent Clint Watts tells the Daily Beast the Twin Falls rally is one of the first known cases where the Russians went beyond peddling fake news digitally and sought to get a response in the real world.
The Statesman reports the anti-immigrant event apparently fizzled. While “Secured Borders,” the fake organizer of the rally had around 133,000 followers on Facebook, less than fifty people indicated they were interested in the Idaho event. Only four said they planned on going.
Facebook eventually deleted “Secured Borders.” While it came to light in March the group was reportedly controlled by the Russians, the page was only shutdown last month.
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