Earlier this Friday the social media giant Facebook disabled 3 Facebook pages which were suspected to be backed by the Kremlin. This Russian backed company was directly targeted to influence American millennials. Facebook has suspended their account and asked administrators to make known of their affiliations with the Russian Government.
These pages were reportedly controlled by the Maffick Media, A media company whose major shareholder is Ruptly, Ruptly is a subsidiary company which belongs to RT. Maffick Media hired freelancers and contractors from Los Angeles, while the company was registered in Germany, but not in the U.S.
Facebook doesn’t ask users to provide information regarding their parent companies. However, Facebook is making huge progress to create transparency around page administrators to tackle secretly funded government organizations from making its way on its services.
Facebook has received a major backlash by the society because their ignorance has led to pages which contain fake news and misinformation, that are backed by secret government organizations on their platform.
The Chief Officer of Maffick J.Ray Sparks has said that “The Company is editorially independent of RT and “its standard business practice” is not to provide information regarding their staff and parent company.”
Maffick COO also said that “Their Mainstream audience is not interested in these things and it is simply standard practice to not inform them regarding their links to parent companies.”
Maffick Media Company manages three pages on Facebook:- ‘Soapbox,’ which reviews and discuss the current affairs in the U.S, ‘Waste -Ed’ which reviews about the environmental changes and, ‘Back then’ which is a history channel and discusses western imperialism. These channels are super viral and have combined views of 30 million and more.
According to the records, Ruptly has more than 51 percent of shares of this company and the rest 49 percent is owned by the ex RT representer and current Maffick CEO, Anissa Naouai.
Anissa Naouai used to host the television show ‘In the Now’ on RT which was also targeted towards millennials and had ties with Russia. This show was popular and had a facebook page which had 3 million followers. Facebook also took down that page on Friday. According to a page on LinkedIn, Anissa Naouai used to work as a correspondent for RT at the beginning of the year 2006. The U.S Director of National Intelligence in their reports accused RT of meddling during the presidential elections in 2016. RT executives in the U.S said that “Our role is to inform the audience and not influence.”
According to various reports, Maffick asked their workers in Los Angeles to set up their Limited Liability Company (LLC), so that they could transfer their funds directly. These fund transfers were from a bank account located in Germany.