CLS Strategies used Facebook to sow division across Latin America

The firm, CLS Strategies, this week became the latest communications company to be chastised by Facebook for using fake accounts — including on Instagram, a Facebook subsidiary — to secretly manipulate politics in another country, in violation of Facebook’s prohibition on foreign interference.

CLS Strategies said Friday that it had launched an internal investigation in conjunction with an outside law firm and put the head of its Latin American practice on administrative leave. But it disputed that its activities amount to foreign interference, saying the clients it was representing were located in the affected countries.

“Importantly, our past client work in Latin America, including opposition to oppressive regimes, was not conducted on behalf of foreign entities — the work was funded and directed by clients inside each country. This makes CLS’s work very different from the foreign influence activities reported by Facebook, and any characterization of CLS’ work in the

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