Vietnam Veterans of America is urging Facebook and Twitter to join with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to take on Russian propaganda sites that have targeted veterans with fake news on social media.
"Today's disturbing report from The Washington Post ought to be a wake-up call, not just for veterans, but for the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs, who have a responsibility to protect us," said John Rowan, Vietnam Veterans of America president, in a statement to The Daily Caller.
"For months, we've been quietly trying to push Facebook to close down fake pages that are imitating Vietnam Veterans of America, and to stop Russian bots from harassing our advocates, to no avail. So far these social media companies have failed to step up, which is why we need DoD and VA to get involved," Rowan's statement said.
"VVA is calling on Facebook and Twitter to immediately shut down all fake veteran pages and spam bots, and for DoD and VA to get involved in protecting service members and veterans from social media disinformation campaigns," Rowan said in the statement.
Russian trolls and others aligned with the Kremlin are sending disinformation to American military personnel, according to an Oxford University study released Monday and reported by The Washington Post.
Veterans are targeted because they are "opinion leaders" in their communities, said Oxford professor Philip N. Howard, coauthor of the report, in The Post.
Vietnam Veterans of America reported a page in August to Facebook called Vietnam Vets of America, which has an associated site hosted in Bulgaria, according to The Daily Caller. However, the page remains active.
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