Facebook blocks 115 accounts suspected of 'inauthentic behavior'

Omar Marques  SOPA Images  LightRocket via Getty Images

It comes after American security services revealed efforts by Russian Federation to spread misinformation and interfere in the 2016 presidential election, using Facebook as a tool to do so.

In a statement published the night before polls opened, the company said it had been contacted by the police about suspicious behaviour believed to be linked to foreign entities.

Facebook, Inc. said it has identified and blocked some 30 Facebook and 85 Instagram accounts over concerns of foreign election interference, on the eve of the USA midterm elections.

"Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly", Facebook said. They include 30 Facebook accounts, mostly in Russian and French, and 85 Instagram accounts, mostly in English.

The social media giant said in a statement that it became aware of accounts that may be "engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior" on Sunday evening.

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 U.S. midterm elections.

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It is merely the latest disinformation campaign to have been flagged by Facebook. The accounts focused on celebrities or political debate.

Recorded Future, a cybersecurity firm with headquarters in Somerville, Massachusetts, said it had detected that Russian influence operations had shifted strategy before the USA midterm elections, moving away from "verifiably false information to "hyperpartisan perspectives".

Thirteen employees of the so-called Internet Research Agency, a private organisation linked to illicit online influence campaigns based in St Petersburg, were subsequently charged with engaging in operations to "spread distrust" in the United States and its democratic systems.

This year's contest has been portrayed as crucial by both Republicans and Democrats because both chambers of Congress, and the accompanying ability to pass or reject President Donald Trump's agenda, are up for grabs.

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.

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