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US Department of Justice Demands Account Details of Facebook Users who ‘Liked’ Anti-Trump Pages

The administration claims it needs the information in connection to an examination concerning and persecution of activists captured in Washington DC as President Trump was confirmed as President

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Department of Justice
The Department of Justice has obtained search warrants; one of which was issued for the DisruptJ20 Facebook page, which organized protests upon President Trump's inauguration (VOA).

Washington, September 29, 2017 : The Department of Justice has obtained court orders that could reveal data about a huge number of individuals who extended support to a resistance page on Facebook. The search warrants would allow government lawyers to access Facebook accounts operated by protesters against American president Donald Trump.

The Department of Justice has sought orders to acquire the passwords, personal messages, comments, status updates, photos and additionally, the deleted posts of two individual activists – Lacy MacAuley and Legba Carrefour, along with information about over 6,000 users who ‘liked’ an anti-Trump page on Facebook.

One of the three warrants was issued for the DisruptJ20 Facebook page, which organized protests upon President Trump’s inauguration.

The administration claims it needs the information in connection to an examination concerning and persecution of activists captured in Washington DC as President Trump was confirmed as President on 20 January 2017. Thus, it has asked for data between November 2, seven days before the presidential decision, and February 9.

While the Facebook page is open to the public, executive Emmelia Talarico was quoted by CNN as saying that the Trump organization would have the capacity to get to the “private lists of invitees and attendees to multiple political events sponsored by the page” if details of the account are turned over.

ALSO READ Zuckerberg Responds to Trump’s Allegations, says Facebook was Never Against You

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is fighting the warrants in court, described the requests as “a gross invasion of privacy”.

Lacy MacAuley also asserted that the page had details of her personal life and of people associated with it that the federal government need not know. “The primary purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to prevent this type of exploratory rummaging through a person’s private information” she said.

At the moment, none of the three activists in question have been charged with any offence in relation to Inauguration Day.

Previously, the Department of Justice had also attempted to arrange a web-host supplier to reveal the the IP addresses of 1.3 million individuals who went to the DisruptJ20.org site. However, this was quashed by Dream Host, the web facilitating organization.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter : SohaKala

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Clears Dozens of Islamophobic Posts: Report

"But the Guardian has learned that since the original story was published on Friday, Facebook has been telling users that dozens of posts distributed through the network meet its community standards," said the report on Sunday

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Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Facebook has reportedly cleared dozens of Islamophobic posts despite being flagged by an investigation by the Guardian that these posts are being used as part of a coordinated scheme profiting from hate and disinformation.

The Guardian revealed on Friday that an Israel-based group had gained access to at least 21 far-right Facebook pages with vast followings across the western world.

The 21 pages were used as part of a network to distribute over 1,000 “news” posts each week to more than one million followers.

Besides spreading disinformation and hate targeting Muslims, the posts were used to promote far-right politicians and vilify prominent Muslim politicians.

Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

The motive for the operation appears to be financial, showed the investigation which revealed that the Facebook posts directed users to a cluster of ad-heavy websites, all controlled by a single entity.

Also Read: Tech Giant Apple Planning to Add Larger Batteries to 2020 iPhone Models

Following the Guardian investigation, Facebook launched its own probe and removed pages and accounts which were found to be spamming content for financial gain.

“But the Guardian has learned that since the original story was published on Friday, Facebook has been telling users that dozens of posts distributed through the network meet its community standards,” said the report on Sunday. (IANS)