2019 Polls: Atiku vindicated over false reports on social media by archimedes
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has commended a United States-based firm, Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, for exposing an Israeli-based political consulting and lobbying firm, named Archimedes, responsible for false reports on social media against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Facebook had on Thursday banned Archimedes from the platform over its “coordinated and deceptive behaviour,” as well as conducted a sweeping takedown of dozens of accounts and hundreds of pages primarily aimed at disrupting elections in African countries, with some scattered activities in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
The report specifically revealed Archimedes worked for President Muhammadu Buhari to smear his leading opponent, Atiku Abubakar, during the last general elections.Reacting to the development, Frank said the world would gradually know the evil secrets behind declaration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as winner of last presidential election.
According to Frank, one of the pages that Facebook deleted was filled with viral misinformation and direct attacks against Abubakar. The page’s banner image showed Abubakar as Darth Vader, the Star Wars villain, holding up a sign reading, “Make Nigeria Worse Again.”
He also quoted the AP’s report “that on the overall, the misleading accounts had reached some 2.8 million users, and the pages engaged over 5,000 followers, according to Facebook’s estimates.”While thanking Facebook for bringing down the fake accounts, Frank said: “Nigerians ought to be worried about how the APC-led government is spending huge amount of money just to discredit Atiku Abubakar. ”