- AP: Carolyn Kaster
Former White House chief strategist and current Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon reportedly tried to infiltrate Facebook last year with the help of far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopolous.
BuzzFeed reported on Monday that in August 2016, shortly before joining the President Donald Trump’s campaign, Bannon sought t0 dispatch a subordinate to apply for a job at Facebook and serve as an informant about what the job application process was like.
In a message to Bannon, the conservative Family Research Council’s Chris Gacek passed along a job application at Facebook-owned messaging platform Whatsapp, and suggested that it may be “perfect for Breitbart to flood the zone with candidates of all stripes who will report back to you/Milo with INTEL about the job application process.”
“Can u get on this,” Bannon asked Yiannopoulos, who forwarded the message to his research team.
One researcher voiced skepticism, saying it “seems difficult to do quietly without them becoming aware of efforts.”
Facebook has become a focus of attention following revelations about the platform’s use by Russia to coordinate and spread misinformation, place political ads, and stoke anti-Hillary Clinton sentiment.
Last week, the social media giant said the company is investigating how its tools were used by presidential campaigns to promote ads or other content during the election, and noted it will release Russia-linked ads to congressional panels investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
Though the far-right has been increasingly critical of major tech platforms, its top players have thus far struggled to create and grow effective social media alternatives.