Facebook is blocking 115 accounts from the US midterm elections

Facebook is blocking 115 accounts from the US midterm elections

LONDON – Facebook said it has blocked 115 accounts of alleged "coordinated inauthentic behavior" associated with foreign groups wanting to intervene in US presidential elections on Tuesday.

The social media company has closed 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts and is examining these in more detail, it said in a blog post late Monday.

The company took action after it was rejected on Sunday evening by US law enforcement officials who informed the company about recently discovered online activities "that they believe are related to foreign companies," writes Facebook's cybersecurity policy chief, Nathaniel Same post.

US technology companies are increasing the security and efforts to combat disinformation campaigns to prevent online troublemakers from trying to divide voters and discredit democracy. The cleanup of Facebook is part of countermeasures to prevent abuses committed by Russian groups two years ago before the US presidential election.

Gleicher said the company will provide an update as soon as it learns more, "including the question of whether these accounts are linked to the Russian-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign companies."

Almost all Facebook pages linked to the blocked accounts appeared to be in French or Russian. The Instagram reports were mostly in English, focusing either on celebrities or political debates. No further information was provided on the accounts or suspicious activity.

Last month, Facebook removed 82 pages, accounts and groups bound to Iran to fuel social conflicts in the United States and the United Kingdom. An even larger step was taken in August, removing 652 pages, groups and accounts related to Russia and Iran. Twitter claims to have identified more than 4,600 accounts and 10 million tweets, mainly from the Internet Research Agency, allegedly linked to US alien clashes, including the 2016 presidential election.

The Internet Research Agency is essentially a Russian troll farm accused by American special adviser Robert Mueller for his actions during the 2016 elections.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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