Facebook said on Tuesday that it had shut down more than 30 fake pages and accounts involved in what appeared to be a “coordinated” attempt to sway public opinion on political issues ahead of November’s midterm elections. It said the “bad actor” accounts on the world’s biggest social network and its photo-sharing site Instagram could not be tied to Russian actors.
But it did say that “some of the activity is consistent” with that of the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) — the Russian troll farm that managed many false Facebook accounts used to influence the 2016 vote. “We’re shutting down 32 pages and accounts engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour without saying that a specific group or country is responsible,” Facebook said in a series of blog posts. “We’re still in the very early stages of our investigation and don’t have all the facts — including who may be behind this,” it added.
Facebook said it had briefed U.S. law enforcement agencies, Congress and other technology companies about its findings.
The New York Times
reported that the company was working with the FBI on the investigation. Some of the most-followed pages that were shut down included “Resisters” and “Aztlan Warriors”. The “Resisters” page enlisted support from real followers for an August protest in Washington.
, citing unnamed sources, reported that other “coordinated” activity revolved around #AbolishICE, a left-wing campaign against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
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