Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Facebook blocks 30 accounts ahead of U.S. midterm elections

Facebook removes more pages, as FBI warns Russia still targeting American voters Facebook blocks 115 accounts suspected of 'inauthentic behavior'
Steven Clarke | 06 November, 2018, 19:27

Facebook has blocked 115 accounts on its platforms due to alleged "inauthentic behavior" ahead of the 2018 midterm elections on Tuesday.

The account suspensions were made after USA law enforcement officials contacted Facebook Sunday evening about recently discovered online activity believed "may be linked to foreign entities", Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, wrote in a blog post Monday.

Gleicher wrote that the accounts were immediately blocked after the company was notified Sunday evening of suspicious behavior and that the questionable accounts - potentially linked to foreign entities - are being investigated "in more detail".

Facebook logo is seen on an android mobile phone in front of a computer screen.

Nearly all of the Facebook pages linked to the accounts appeared to be in French or Russian while the Instagram ones were mostly in English.

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

The company said that they made the announcement despite being only in the initial stage of the investigation as the elections are only a day away and they want to inform their customers about the "action taken and the facts as we know them today".

Cameroon school kidnap: 81 students taken in Nkwen village swoop
This is a developing story; check back for updates and get the PIX11 News app to stay informed all day . Hundreds of people have been killed during clashes between the protesters and the military.

Facebook said it planned to release more information as the investigation continues.

Gleicher said the accounts were possibly engaged in "coordinated inauthentic behaviour", although he said it was too early to tell whether they were linked to the notorious Russian-based Internet Research Agency troll farm.

The war room is part of stepped up security announced by Facebook, which will be adding some 20,000 employees.

Facebook has since tried to clamp down on nefarious foreign actors.

Facebook didn't always take the risk of election interference seriously, however.

Last month, Facebook removed more than 800 pages and accounts that were spreading misinformation seeking to influence public opinion on both the right and left sides of the aisle. "Our adversaries are smart and well funded, and as we improve their tactics change", the company said in October.

"Finding and removing abuse is a constant challenge".

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