Bots Impersonate Organizations to Spread Disinformation



Picture courtesy TESSA B. CORRICK/U.S. AIR FORCE

Four congressmen have written to the FBI to request an investigation into social media accounts that are impersonating veterans’ organizations in order to spread fake news, according to Nikki Wentling at Stars and Stripes. Earlier this month, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs launched a review into disinformation operations by foreign actors targeting veterans and servicemembers.

In 2017, Facebook shut down a page on its platform that was impersonating the congressionally-chartered service organization Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). The phony page posted politically divisive posts, and it had tens of thousands more followers than the VVA’s real Facebook page. Kristofer Goldsmith, associate director for policy and government affairs at the VVA, said that this problem is “persistent, widespread, and presents a threat to the force and the veterans community.”

Wentling notes that a 2017 study from Oxford University on disinformation campaigns concluded that veterans and servicemembers are “potentially influential voters and community leaders,” and are therefore more likely to be targeted by foreign influence operations.

New-school security awareness training can teach your employees to be wary of all information sources they haven’t verified. Being skeptical by default is an invaluable skill that can help them avoid being manipulated in the workplace, as well as in their personal lives.

Stars and Stripes has the story: https://www.stripes.com/congressmen-urge-fbi-to-investigate-bots-targeting-veterans-with-fake-news-1.573284


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