Facebook Shuts Down Accounts Created for Midterms

Facebook Shuts Down Accounts Created for Midterms
Facebook Shuts Down Accounts Created for Midterms

Looks like someone (probably someone on the Left) is still trying to “game the system” on social media around elections. Facebook is reporting it deleted a total of 115 accounts created just this week for the sole purposes of “co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour.”

• Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, released a statement (located here) regarding the action on Monday, November 5th. “Our very early-stage investigation has so far identified around 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts that may be engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior,” it reads. “We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them in more detail.

• Facebook did not comment on exactly what kind of proof they had, but did state that the pages were “newly created.” They also revealed that the pages associated with the banned accounts weren’t in English; instead, they were operating in French or Russian.

• Some of the pages appeared to be masquerading as celebrities, especially on sister site Instagram. Others were deliberately set up as political debate and news sites designed to engage people in conversation. All were clearly sharing information about the midterms in an effort to sway voters.

• The tip-off came from U.S. government law enforcement (it isn’t clear if this means the FBI, the CIA, or some other entity), who advised the social media giant that they had identified fake accounts held by foreign nationals which may have been involved in “fake news” or election interference.

• Facebook hasn’t identified the group or groups responsible for creating the accounts as of yet, but they did say something interesting at the end of the statement. “Once we know more — including whether these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities — we will update this post.”

Why mention the Internet Research Agency unless you already suspect them?

There’s something to think about!

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