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September 18, 2019

A businessman from Northern Macedonia has hijacked the Facebook page 'Veterans for Trump' where former US officials have been advising US President Donald Trump to discuss issues about veterans and where conservative memes have been shared.

The site had more than 100,000 followers, writes the Washington Post in a story published yesterday.
According to the article, after the site was hacked, it continued to operate under external control, leading to misunderstandings and misinformation.
This example is cited as a case study in analyzing how money, politics and misinformation spread online, play a role in the run-up to the US presidential election.
According to the story, veterans and active-duty military personnel are a particularly valuable target for manipulation, because they vote in high proportions and can influence others who admire senior military and service personnel.
"The Veterans for Trump" saga is a case study of how misinformation and political activism can intervene, and how the line between domestic and foreign actors can be blurred in the world of on-line media, where social media orders can be purchased , sold and even kidnapped, writes The Washington Post.
According to the Washington Post story, the takeover of the US veterans Facebook page begins with a seemingly naive offer that reaches out to the group's administrators and owners, and comes from a person posing as Andrei Spasovski.
Spasovski offers them to generate profits through their site by letting him post ads, while promising tens of thousands of dollars a year.
These transactions were supposed to take place through the Ad Brake Company, which they later learned was registered in Kumanovo.


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