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Foreign-Run Facebook Accounts Celebrate Rittenhouse Verdict

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Suspect Facebook accounts with fake names, including some that had hints of foreign roots, posted messages in support of the acquittal.
In the aftermath of the jury's verdict acquitting Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges in the August 2020 shootings that left two men dead and a third injured during civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, several suspect Facebook accounts, some of which had hints of foreign roots, posted celebratory messages on far-right pages and groups.

It's true that some foreign-run Facebook accounts, pages, and groups post memes and other content about American politics in an effort to simply make money, whether by Amazon.com referrals, advertising revenue, or other means.

However, as the U.S. and the world have seen in the past with foreign interference in elections, other efforts on Facebook aim to stoke divisions during potentially fragile moments. Those moments sometimes involve race, and race definitely helped explain civil unrest in Kenosha.

The protests in Kenosha were in response to the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer. The Rittenhouse killings happened during the unrest, a time that occurred just three months after the murder of George Floyd.

While this story only documents a handful of examples of suspect posts that followed the Rittenhouse verdict, this content appears to be only the tip of the iceberg. While it's also possible that foreign efforts were already underway to support riots in the streets as a response to the jury's decision, the following reporting concentrates only on the content that was found in the aftermath of the acquittal.

Belarus

In the Facebook group named James Woods for Gov of California, an account named Drastic Bombastic posted "USA!" and a link to the Rittenhouse acquittal. We also found that the account made several posts about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the 2020 U.S. presidential election, including disinformation about the results of the contest.

The account, which appeared to be less than 2 years old, also "liked" a majority of Russian-language pages with origins in Belarus.

In the same Facebook group,…
Snopes, Jordan Liles
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