"Revealed: Johnson ally’s firm secretly ran Facebook propaganda network"


Article extract:

"The lobbying firm run by Boris Johnson’s close ally Sir Lynton Crosby has secretly built a network of unbranded “news” pages on Facebook for dozens of clients ranging from the Saudi government to major polluters, a Guardian investigation has found.

In the most complete account yet of CTF Partners’ outlook and strategy, current and former employees of the campaign consultancy have painted a picture of a business that appears to have professionalised online disinformation, taken on a series of controversial clients and faced incidents of misogynistic bullying in its headquarters.

They said that such was the culture of secrecy within the firm that staff working on online disinformation campaigns, which selectively promoted their clients’ viewpoints on anonymised Facebook pages that followed a common formula, used initials rather than full names on internal systems and often relied on personal email accounts to avoid their work being traced back to CTF and its clients..."

"...CTF declined to comment on their methods or clients but said they operated within the law and accused the Guardian of relying on “false or distorted facts”. They dismissed the idea that the company or Crosby could exercise any influence on the prime minister."

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/01/revealed-johnson-allys-firm-secretly-ran-facebook-propaganda-network
Author: Jim Waterson
Publication: The Guardian, UK
Publication Date: 1 August 2019