A network in Kosovo is using its sketchy Facebook groups to spread fake news to Americans

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

A group of Kosovars are running a network of Facebook groups that look like they are based in the U.S., seemingly to fool users into clicking on their associated websites — which often push fake news and hyperpartisan content — so they can get traffic for ad revenue. The groups, which are likely all run from the Kosovan town of Podujevo, have more than 107,000 members combined.

Since the 2016 election, Facebook has come under fire for the spread of fake news on its platform. Much of that scrutiny has focused on Russian accounts creating American-looking Facebook pages and, to a lesser extent, Macedonians spreading fake news, sometimes via American Facebook groups. But not all of the foreign activity comes from those countries.

A Facebook group called Sean Hannity FANS (named after the Fox News host) formed about two years ago, offering what would probably appear to Americans to be a place to share conservative-related content. The group, which currently has more than 11,100 members, is administered by accounts Conservative Today, Hannityfansofficial, and apparently News Donald Trump, Labinot Rma Kosumi, and Blerina Shala as well. The group also has multiple moderators.

Conservative Today’s page is connected to and has repeatedly posted links (some to fake news) from the website The Breaking, which is registered in Podujevo, Kosovo. Hannityfansofficial’s page has repeatedly posted fake news from the website WebViners, which is also registered in Podujevo, Kosovo. The page has also posted from the website politicreport.info, which is also registered from the town of Podujevo, and fake news from The Breaking. The page of another administrator of the Sean Hannity FANS group, News Donald Trump, …read more

Source:: Media Matters for America

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