Facebook has removed more than 100 accounts tied to Roger Stone, the former Trump campaign adviser and convicted felon, for violating the company’s policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Stone’s personal Instagram account was removed as part of the purge, as well as several other fake accounts Facebook said he’d been using to spread misinformation.
Altogether, 54 Facebook accounts, 50 Facebook pages and four Instagram accounts were part of the operation. The network, which had about 320,000 followers across Facebook and Instagram, also spent more than $300,000 on Facebook ads. Stone’s accounts often posed as Florida residents and shared information on a variety of topics dating back to 2015, including content released by Wikileaks and Stone’s books and media appearances.
One post from Stone’s network that was flagged by Facebook said: “What? Hillary Clinton gets a pass from the FBI but the Democrats want the FBI to investigate Roger Stone?”
The first signs of the network came up in 2018, Facebook said, when it was investigating accounts tied to the Proud Boys.
Stone, who worked as a campaign adviser for President Trump, was found guilty in November 2019 on all federal counts in a trial stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Those counts included providing false statements to the House Intelligence Committee about contact with WikiLeaks, obstructing a congressional investigation of Russian election interference, and witness tampering. Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison in February. He’s expected to start his prison term next week, but he has appealed to President Trump for a pardon.