Facebook blocks 115 accounts ahead of midterm elections

Clay Curtis
November 6, 2018

Offering more detail, the company said that groups and accounts posed as US or United Kingdom citizens, posting content on divisive topics like race relations and immigration.

Russian Federation is accused of propaganda campaign in favour of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential vote.

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

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

Gleicher said the company typically waits until it is further along in such a probe before publicly acknowledging the steps it takes to remove suspicious accounts, but "given that we are only one day away from important elections in the USA, we wanted to let people know about the action we've taken and the facts as we know them today".

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Eighty-five of the removed accounts were posting in English on Facebook's Instagram service, and 30 more were on Facebook and associated with pages in French and Russian, the post said.

"We're exploring additional checks to help prevent abuse and will respond to requests from law enforcement and election officials now and in the future if new requirements arise", director of product management Rob Leathern said in a statement to the outlet. In 2017, the tech firm revealed it found evidence that Russians used the social network to meddle in the 2016 USA presidential election and sow discord among Americans.

Facebook has taken down a network of Facebook pages and Instagram accounts just hours before polls open on election day.

Gleicher said Facebook is probing the suspected accounts to see whether they are linked to foreign entities including the Russia-based internet Research Agency, the shadowy troll farm whose associates have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and that was indicted earlier this year in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Last year, the company confessed that a Russian interference campaign spent $100,000 in an attempt to illegally influence the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

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