Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Facebook blocks 30 accounts ahead of US elections

Facebook removes more pages, as FBI warns Russia still targeting American voters Facebook blocks 115 accounts suspected of 'inauthentic behavior'
Ellis Copeland | 08 November, 2018, 15:47

Facebook announced on Monday that it had blocked about 30 accounts from its network, as well as 85 accounts on the network photo sharing Instagram, which it holds, which could be related to foreign entities and serve to interference in the u.s. elections.

"Once we know more - including whether these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities - we will update this post", Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's Head of Cybersecurity Policy, said in the post.

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 US presidential election two years ago.

The company removed 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts.

Facebook has been the target of criticism for its apparent inability to stop foreign entities to use its platform to influence the USA presidential elections in 2016.

As for content, some of the accounts were focused on celebrities, while others favored political debate.

Facebook has disrupted a disinformation campaign targeting the United States midterm elections first detected by American law enforcement.

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Last month alone, Facebook removed 800 pages and accounts deemed to be spreading misinformation to influence public opinion on both the right and left.

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

The United States has repeatedly accused Russian Federation of interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

"As part of our efforts to prevent interference on Facebook during the elections, we are in regular contact with the authorities responsible for the enforcement of the law, and with external experts and with other companies around the world", said Facebook in a statement.

"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.

"It is increasingly clear that major gaps exist in Facebook's efforts, potentially allowing adversaries to exploit your platform with continued disinformation efforts", the senators wrote in a letter Zuckerberg, PC Magazine reported.

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