Facebook take down more accounts aimed at political meddling

 

Facebook on Tuesday said it shut down more accounts aimed at influencing the US midterm election and that it is exploring a possible link to Russia.

“As we’ve continued to investigate, we detected and removed some additional Facebook and Instagram accounts,” head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in an update posted at the social network.

While stressing the challenge of identifying the culprits, he noted that a website claiming to be associated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russia-based troll farm, published a list of Instagram accounts they said that they had created.

Facebook had already shut down most of those accounts, and blocked the rest after an internal investigation, according to Gleicher.

“Ultimately, this effort may have been connected to the IRA, but we aren’t best placed to say definitively whether that is the case,” Gleicher said.

“Trolls have an incentive to claim that their activities are more widespread and influential than may be the case.”

On the eve of the midterm election, Facebook announced it blocked some 30 accounts on its platform and 85 more on Instagram after police warned they may be linked to “foreign entities” trying to interfere.

On Tuesday, the numbers of accounts removed for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” was raised to 36 at Facebook and 99 at the social network’s Instagram service.

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