Russian-linked Facebook group asked Texas secession movement to be in anti-Clinton rallies: report
A Facebook page with suspected Russian ties asked a Texas secessionist group to participate in a number of anti-Hillary Clinton protests in November 2016, Business Insider reported Thursday, citing the group’s president.
The “Heart of Texas” page was shut down last week after Facebook closed accounts thought to be operated from Russia, a Facebook spokesman told the site. The group reportedly reached out to Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, who said he declined to participate in the rallies.
Miller told Business Insider he had been contacted several times by individuals claiming to be administrators of the Facebook page, which he said took on a strong political bent over the years since its creation.
He also claimed that the individuals who contacted him appeared to have legitimate accounts, despite recent instances of Russians impersonating individuals on social media.
The page, which reportedly contained a large number of grammatical errors and typos, was one of a number of pages being actively monitored at a time when Facebook said it experienced a surge in fake accounts tied to Russia, who were buying advertisements related to controversial political issues.
“Heart of Texas” reportedly shifted from originally posting pro-Texas, anti-immigration, and anti-Clinton memes to actively promoting events linked to the “Texit” secessionist movement.
The page’s attempts to influence American political happenings comes as federal investigators are actively looking into Russia’s cyberattacks and social media tactics aimed at influencing the 2016 election.