Earlier this month, The Washington Post published a report detailing how Russian trolls have targeted U.S. military veterans with misinformation campaigns on Facebook. That includes going so far as to create fake pages that impersonate veterans’ groups and spread politically divisive content.
After the Post report, the group Vietnam Veterans of America called on Facebook to work with the Pentagon and Department of Veteran Affairs to shut down these fake veterans’ advocacy pages. This group had a particularly strong stake in the fight; an imposter page had been set up in their name that had gained over 200,000 followers. Thankfully, Facebook heard their complaint and removed the phony page this week.
“We’re glad to see that Facebook is taking seriously the fact that agents outside the U.S. are targeting veterans on social media,” said John Rowan, president of Vietnam Veterans of America.
It’s disgusting to think of military veterans being targeted and taken advantage of like this, but hostile foreign powers aren’t going to stop using dirty tricks like this anytime soon. That means it’s on Facebook to step up its security procedures and ensure this kind of dangerous junk stays off its platform.