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Reports: Political Trolls Connected to Shut Down of Pro-Bernie Sanders Facebook Groups

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On Monday evening, numerous popular Bernie Sanders Facebook groups—some with more than 50,000 members—were removed from Facebook but have now all been reinstated. 

According to Aiden King, the digital and social media manager for Sanders' campaign, the groups' closures was the result of a bug that affected many Facebook groups, not just pro-Bernie Sanders groups. 

"All of the groups are back up and it wasn't just Bernie groups," King shared on the ConnectWithBernie slackchat. "Facebook hasn't released a public statement but they had a bug and it closed a ton of Facebook groups. Our supporters are just more vocal so the internet blew up with 'Bernie groups being shut down' rather than 'Facebook groups are being shut down."

However, prior to the groups' closures, members noted that trolls had infiltrated many of the groups and posted pornographic photos.

"Admins of the group removed the troll posters and all the pornographic-related posts," Heavy.com reported. "It’s unclear if the groups were later taken down because of those posts, since not all the Bernie groups had reported having such posts."

But at least one political troll was found bragging about taking down the Sanders' pages in the pro-Hillary Clinton group BROS 4 HILLARY – #GiveEmHill, which has since been removed from Facebook. 

U.S. Uncut reports that other Hillary Clinton fans cheered on the trolling, with at least one openly admitting that her husband "frequently reported pro-Sanders posts on Facebook in hopes that they would be taken down, saying his success rate was 'about 50/50 on a good day.'"

Last week, the pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC, Correct the Record, announced a $1 million social media campaign aimed at Bernie Sanders supporters, but it is currently unclear if Monday's trolls are tied to the group. 

(Photo Courtesy of Philly.com)

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