WSJ: Russian-linked Facebook account aided Philando Castile protest

A new report from The Wall Street Journal says Russian-linked Facebook accounts helped organize a protest in Minneapolis in July 2016 following the fatal office-involved shooting of Philando Castile. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, several Facebook accounts tied to Russia helped organize or finance dozens of divisive protests across the country before and after the 2016 election, including one in Minnesota. 

The Journal found a planned protest on July 10, 2016 in Minneapolis was at least partially organized by the Facebook account “Don’t Shoot”, which has been linked to Russia. 

Additionally, The Journal looked at archived versions of now-deleted Facebook and interviewed activists, attendees and others familiar with the events, most of which were posted on Facebook. In all, The Journal found at least 60 rallies, protests and marches were publicized or financed by eight Russia-backed Facebook accounts. 

The events were not all anti-police. Workers linked to a Russia-based firm also organized a “Blue Lives Matter" rally in Dallas the same day as the Castile protest to honor the five officers slain in the city on July 7. 

Last month, Facebook announced hundreds of fake accounts with ties to Russia spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up divisive issues during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.