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Jan. 20, 2020, 8:31 p.m. EST

Connecticut Republican admits to operating Facebook pages defending him while claiming to be run by pro-Trump groups in other states

Facebook spokeswoman says that when the company finds networks of pages misleading people by concealing who is behind them, it requires owners to show additional information

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By Emily Glazer and Rebecca Ballhaus

Robert Hyde, a GOP congressional candidate who has become embroiled in the impeachment investigation, on Saturday said he had been operating Facebook pages displaying posts in his defense while purporting to be run by groups of Trump supporters in different states.

The coordination of the pages was uncovered in an analysis conducted by the social-media intelligence company Storyful, which is owned by News Corp, parent of MarketWatch and Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones.

After the Wall Street Journal reported on the pages’ apparent connection to Hyde, Facebook Inc. late Friday took them down. A Facebook spokeswoman said when the company finds networks of pages misleading people by concealing who is behind them, it requires owners to show additional information.

On Sunday, at least five of the pages — purporting to be from Trump supporters in states including Georgia, Rhode Island and Alabama — remained on Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +1.43% , nearly all of which had reposted a video of Hyde defending himself earlier this week.

One of the pages, “Virginia Supporters for President Donald J Trump,” featured a new post from Saturday that read: “I have worked really hard on this page.. I hope it remains. If not thank you all for your support of the Republican Party and President TRUMP 2020. Much love to you all. This is a just in case it seems Facebook is removing pages that support things they don’t.”

On WSJ.com: Facebook removes pages that coordinated posts defending man embroiled in impeachment probe

Associated Press
Robert Hyde displays campaign phone grips last week beside the Genius of Connecticut statue in the Connecticut State Capitol.

Facebook removed those pages after the Journal alerted the company Sunday. It said it would continue to review pages and take action on any that violate its ownership transparency policy.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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