Facebook Blocks 115 Accounts On Eve Of US Election


Facebook said late Monday it had blocked more than 100 Facebook and Instagram accounts suspected of engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior" ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.

The company reportedly blocked 30 accounts on Facebook and another 85 on Instagram.

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook said Monday it had blocked some 30 accounts on its platform and 85 accounts on photo-sharing social network Instagram over concerns they may be linked to foreign entities and aimed at interfering in United States midterm elections.

The shutdown of thousands of Russian-controlled accounts by Twitter and Facebook - plus the indictments of 14 people from Russia's notorious troll farm the Internet Research Agency - have blunted but by no means halted their efforts to influence U.S. politics.

Federal prosecutors in February handed down indictments against 13 Russians, many of whom worked at the Internet Research Agency, a "troll farm", or Russian information warfare operation created to spread distrust among American voters about the democratic system itself.

On Monday, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and Director of National Intelligence put out a joint statement on election interference.

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'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. "They can do this by spreading false information about political processes and candidates, lying about their own interference activities, disseminating propaganda on social media, and through other tactics".

Twitter said Saturday it deleted a "series of accounts" that attempted to share disinformation.

Several accounts with big followings, including @wink_nod and @USSANews, were tweeting or retweeting suggestions that voters should vote Wednesday. In 2017, the tech firm revealed it found evidence that Russians used the social network to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and sow discord among Americans.

That attitude shifted as criticism of the company mounted.

Moriuchi said postings generated through Russian campaigns were now focused on "extremely biased or opinionated content".

Facebook said it would normally take more time to investigate before making a public announcement, but has made a decision to act promptly due to the proximity of the us elections.