March 25, 2019

Facebook removes more pages, as Federal Bureau of Investigation warns Russian Federation still targeting American voters

08 November 2018, 03:49 | Devin Moran

Facebook blocks 115 accounts suspected of 'inauthentic behavior'

Facebook removes more pages, as FBI warns Russia still targeting American voters

He also pledged to keep the public updated, suggesting Facebook may move to block more suspicious accounts.

Facebook said it blocked 115 accounts for suspected "coordinated inauthentic behavior" linked to foreign groups attempting to interfere in Tuesday's USA midterm elections.

Facebook said it would normally take more time to investigate before making a public announcement, but has made a decision to act promptly due to the proximity of the US elections.

In a blog post Monday night, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, said 85 of the accounts were on the company's Instagram service, with the remainder on Facebook itself.

Almost all of the Facebook pages linked to the accounts taken down were in Russian or French, whereas most of the Instagram accounts were posting in English.

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

Giving an idea of the scope of the problem, Twitter says it has identified more than 4,600 accounts and 10million tweets linked to foreign meddling in USA elections, including the presidential vote of 2016.

Facebook first caught wind of a problem on Sunday night when United States law enforcement notified the social media company about "online activity that they recently discovered and which they believe may be linked to foreign entities", the company's Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher wrote in the announcement.

The tip Facebook received came from US law enforcement on November 4, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, wrote in the post.

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.

Last month, Facebook removed 82 Pages, Groups and accounts from the platform it claimed were linked to Iran and were engaging in similar behaviour.

"But Americans should be aware that foreign actors - and Russian Federation in particular - continue to try to influence public sentiment and over perceptions through actions meant to sow discord", the agencies said.

This announcement comes shortly after the authorities and us intelligence agencies announced that they had not spotted any attempts of disruption of the electoral process, but that Americans should be wary of attempts by the russians of spreading false information.

It is merely the latest disinformation campaign to have been flagged by Facebook. The statement detailed government efforts to prevent election interference.

Four days ago, Twitter had reportedly taken down more than 10,000 fake accounts for coordinated misinformation aimed at discouraging USA voters from casting their ballots.

The shutdown of thousands of Russian-controlled accounts by Twitter and Facebook - plus the indictments of 14 people from Russia's notorious troll farm the Internet Research Agency - have blunted but by no means halted their efforts to influence USA politics.

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