Facebook Shut Down More Than 100 Accounts Possibly Linked To Midterm Interference

Facebook Shut Down More Than 100 Accounts Possibly Linked To Midterm Interference

Facebook Shut Down More Than 100 Accounts Possibly Linked To Midterm Interference

Facebook took down a network of Facebook pages and Instagram accounts Monday night after a tip from U.S. law enforcement, just a few hours before polls open in this year's midterm elections.

"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 a blog post.

Most the Facebook pages were in Russian or French, while the Instagram accounts were largely in English.

A handful of Twitter accounts, some of them with more than 10,000 followers, told the citizenry to vote Wednesday, not Tuesday, in a tactic to give blatant false information.

At this early stage, Facebook says it doesn't know which foreign actors were attempting to spread mischief on its platform, or whether any of these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency.

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

They were widely criticized following the 2016 presidential election for allowing themselves to be exploited by foreign influence campaigns.

Facebook took down 30 accounts as well as 85 accounts on Instagram, which is also owns after warnings of sustained efforts to affect the result of the U.S. midterms, which take place today.

Facebook said it had blocked the accounts flagged by authorities, but it is not clear how active the accounts had been, nor what the manner of their "inauthentic behaviour" was.

Facebook said its decision to release its preliminary findings stemmed from the fact that "we are only one day away from important elections in the USA". The accounts focused on celebrities or political debate. In September, Facebook set up a "war room" in its California headquarters dedicated to rooting out disinformation related to the midterms. 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.

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

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