Facebook removes more pages, as FBI warns Russia still targeting American voters

Facebook removes more pages, as FBI warns Russia still targeting American voters

Social media companies say they are now more vigilant against foreign and other potential election interference after finding themselves unprepared to tackle such activity in the USA presidential election two years ago.

He added: "Our very early-stage investigation has so far identified around 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts that may be engaged in co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour".

Gleicher said Facebook will provide an update once it learns more, including whether the blocked accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, or other foreign entities. Facebook's purge is part of countermeasures to prevent abuses like those used by Russian groups two years ago to sway public opinion ahead of the 2016 USA presidential election.

The Instagram accounts were mostly in English and were focused either on celebrities or political debate.

"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.

A spokesperson for Facebook declined to disclose any other details about the extent of the current investigation, including which US law enforcement agency tipped off Facebook.

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Last month alone, Facebook removed 800 pages and accounts deemed to be spreading misinformation to influence public opinion on both the right and left.

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

This announcement comes shortly after the authorities and us intelligence agencies announced that they had not spotted any attempts of disruption of the electoral process, but that Americans should be wary of attempts by the russians of spreading false information.

Four days ago, Twitter had reportedly taken down more than 10,000 fake accounts for coordinated misinformation aimed at discouraging USA voters from casting their ballots.

Weeks before the midterm elections, major internet players such as Google, Apple and Twitter all have stepped up fight against online disinformation efforts, with thousands of fake accounts purged from their platforms.

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