Thursday, 15 November, 2018


Facebook IDs, blocks dozens of flagged accounts before midterm elections

Facebook Blocks 115 Accounts on Eve of US Election Facebook removes more pages, as FBI warns Russia still targeting American voters
Bennie Garza | 08 November, 2018, 15:51

The revelation came less than a month after Facebook unveiled its so-called "war room" dedicated to combating fake accounts and news stories ahead of the midterm elections.

Facebook has blocked 115 accounts federal authorities told it were acting suspiciously and might be "linked to foreign entities" and coordinating their activities. Almost all the Facebook pages appeared to be in French or Russian, while the Instagram pages were written mostly in English, Facebook said.

The social media giant said in a statement that it became aware of accounts that may be "engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior" on Sunday evening.

Previous investigations in the USA found Facebook had been used by Russian Federation to post content that aimed to influence and interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"On Sunday evening, USA law enforcement contacted us about online activity that they recently discovered and which they believe may be linked to foreign entities", Facebook said in their statement.

"We're exploring additional checks to help prevent abuse and will respond to requests from law enforcement and election officials now and in the future if new requirements arise", director of product management Rob Leathern said in a statement to the outlet. Facebook also disclosed sophisticated attempts from Russian Federation to interfere with elections and promote political discord in the U.S.

The Internet Research Agency is a Russian company based in St. Petersburg that the USA claims used social media in an attempt to influence the outcome of 2016 USA presidential elections.

The social network said it needed to do further analysis to decide if the accounts are linked to Russia's Internet Research Agency or another group. "They can do this by spreading false information about political processes and candidates, lying about their own interference activities, disseminating propaganda on social media, and through other tactics".

Facebook, which has been blamed for doing too little to prevent misinformation efforts by Russian Federation and others in the 2016 USA election, now wants the world to know it is taking aggressive steps with initiatives like the war room.

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

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