Facebook has removed 115 accounts engaged in “inauthentic coordinated behavior” that appear to be attempting to meddle in the midterm elections. Facebook said it was alerted by law enforcement Sun. night and that the accounts linked to foreign entities. Facebook cannot yet say how long they had been operating. “Americans should be aware that foreign actors, and Russia in particular, continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through actions intended to sow discord.”
- Did foreign meddling swing the election in 2016?
- Are people better at identifying disinformation campaigns on social media?
- Can Facebook realistically police the majority of disinformation on their platform?
Ap Social Media Election Battle A Eln File Usa Oh
SAN FRANCISCO – Acting on a tip from law enforcement, Facebook has removed more than 100 accounts – 30 on Facebook, 85 on Instagram – engaging in coordinated activity in French, English and Russian, raising the possibility that foreign actors are attempting to meddle on the eve of the U.S. midterm elections.
Facebook said it was alerted Sunday night to the suspicious activity that law enforcement believe may be linked to foreign entities and blocked the accounts in question. Almost all the Facebook pages appear to be in French or Russian while the Instagram accounts were mostly in English. Some were focused on celebrities, others on political debate, Facebook said.
“Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly. But given that we are only one day away from important elections in the U.S., we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said in a blog post. “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.”
The investigation into the activity was announced late Monday. The company said it was too early in its investigation to determine who was behind the effort or how long the accounts had been operating. Facebook said it does not know how many people may have interacted with the Facebook and Instagram accounts.
A joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the FBI said law enforcement is working in “unprecedented ways” to combat foreign influence operations.