Facebook says it found no foreign interference campaigns targeting U.S. protests

FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Friday it had not seen evidence of coordinated foreign interference targeting the U.S. protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man.

“We have been actively looking and we haven’t yet seen foreign interference or domestic coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting these protests,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, in a call with reporters.

“We want to caution people against jumping to conclusions without clear evidence of foreign interference.”

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Thursday that foreign groups were using online disinformation campaigns like those mounted by Russia during the 2016 presidential election to widen divisions in U.S. society.

“Some of the foreign hackers and groups that are associated with foreign governments are focusing in on this particular situation we have here, and trying to exacerbate it in every way they can,” he said.

Gleicher said Facebook had reached out to its government partners.

Twitter Inc declined on Friday to comment on Barr’s statements. A Twitter spokesman said the company was taking proactive action on any coordinated attempts to disrupt the public conversation on the issue.

The death of Floyd, after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck while detaining him, has led to nationwide protests in the United States.

Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Richard Chang

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