Business Insider has a fairly shocking story out about a pro-Trump, anti-immigrant Facebook page, purportedly based in Texas, which turned out to be a front for Russian election meddling.
The Facebook group, called “Heart of Texas,” was shuttered last week as Facebook took action against Facebook pages “affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia.” The group had 225,000 followers prior to the 2016 election, and heavily pushed a pro-Trump and anti-immigrant sentiment, along with — disturbingly — a statewide “Texit” movement, including a rally on Nov. 5, 2016 that encouraged Texans to support secession from the United States.
A journalist who has written about Russian cyber-meddling published a story in June 2015 which detailed Russian efforts to whip up the Texas Secession movement, possibly as payback for the U.S. crowing over the breakup of the old Soviet Union in the 1990s.
The Daily Beast also reported on another Russian-operated Facebook group called “Secured Borders” that organized an August 2016 anti-immigrant rally in Twin Falls, Idaho called “Citizens Before Refugees.” The “Secured Borders” page has also been shut down by Facebook.
From the Daily Beast article:
“Due to the town of Twin Falls, Idaho, becoming a center of refugee resettlement, which led to the huge upsurge of violence towards American citizens, it is crucial to draw society’s attention to this problem,” the event notice began…. The notice provided the street address and ended with a fiery exhortation. “We must stop taking in Muslim refugees! We demand open and thorough investigation of all the cases regarding Muslim refugees! All government officials, who are covering up for these criminals, should be fired!”