Friday, 23 August, 2019

Facebook Blocks 115 Accounts for 'Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior' Ahead of Midterm Elections

Facebook Blocks 115 Accounts on Eve of US Election Facebook removes more pages, as FBI warns Russia still targeting American voters
Patty Aguilar | 07 November, 2018, 02:27

All the Facebook pages associated these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages.

"Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly", he said.

Facebook said it blocked 115 Facebook and Instagram accounts believed to be engaging in manipulation ahead of today's midterm elections after receiving a tip from federal law enforcement officials who suspected the activity was linked to foreign entities.

Some accounts "were focused on celebrities" and others on "political debate", it added.

The company announced its actions earlier in its investigation than typical "given that we are only one day away from important elections in the USA", he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied directing an interference campaign in support of Donald Trump's presidency.

Facebook took down 30 accounts as well as 85 accounts on Instagram, which is also owns after warnings of sustained efforts to affect the result of the U.S. midterms, which take place today.

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Social media companies say they are now more vigilant against foreign and other potential election interference after finding themselves unprepared to tackle such activity in the USA presidential election two years ago.

It comes after American security services revealed efforts by Russian Federation to spread misinformation and interfere in the 2016 presidential election, using Facebook as a tool to do so.

Common Cause, the nonpartisan citizen's lobby, which was keeping a tally of disinformation on social media, said it was unable to tell immediately the genesis of the misleading Twitter posts. In August, another 652 pages also linked to Iran were taken down.

An internal investigation into the Iranian accounts found that more than 1 million Facebook users had followed at least one of the fraudulent pages, while about 25,000 users joined at least one of these politically oriented groups, according to a company statement.

Employees work in Facebook's "War Room", during a media demonstration, October 17, 2018, in Menlo Park, Calif.

Facebook company opened a war room earlier this year in an effort to combat election interference around the globe.

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