World

Facebook removes 115 suspicious accounts ahead of US mid-term elections

Facebook removes 115 suspicious accounts ahead of US mid-term elections

"Our very early-stage investigation has so far identified around 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts that may be engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour", the company said.

On Monday, Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, announced that it has removed 30 accounts from its namesake platform 85 Instagram accounts for possible links to "foreign entities".

It was the US law enforcement that warned Facebook about these accounts.

According to the social networking giant, United States law enforcement contacted them about an online activity that they recently discovered and which they believe may be linked to foreign entities.

US tech companies have stepped up their work against disinformation campaigns, aiming to stymie online troublemakers' efforts to divide voters and discredit democracy. Facebook says it has blocked 115 accounts for suspected "co-ordinated inauthentic" behaviour on the eve of USA midterm elections.

Employees work in Facebook's "War Room", during a media demonstration, October 17, 2018, in Menlo Park, Calif. The Instagram accounts were mostly in English.

Gleicher said these accounts were immediately blocked and are now being investigated in more detail. The accounts focused on celebrities or political debate.

No further details were given about the accounts or suspicious activity.




Facebook had removed 82 pages linked to Iran late last month for the same reason.

The social media giant also informed that once known it would update, including whether the accounts are linked to the Russian-based Internet Research Agency.

Democratic Senators called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week to address the apparent loopholes in the social media's political ad buying, which reportedly allows anyone to purchase an advertisement under any name - including prominent Senators like Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, according to reports from New York Times and Vice News.

The United States has repeatedly accused Russian Federation of interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

That attitude shifted as criticism of the company mounted.

One problem is that it's not just agents from Russian Federation and other nations who are intent on sharing misinformation and propaganda.

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.

AP Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay contributed to this story from NY.


  • Richard Sherman reacts to Dez Bryant signing with New Orleans Saints

    Richard Sherman reacts to Dez Bryant signing with New Orleans Saints

    New Orleans has proven no fewer than three times this year that the team is in win-now mode as Brees nears 40. The Saints , sitting at 7-1 atop the NFC South, will take on the Cincinnati Bengals on the road in Week 10.
    RUMOR: Blizzard Pulled Diablo 4 BlizzCon Tease at the Last Minute

    RUMOR: Blizzard Pulled Diablo 4 BlizzCon Tease at the Last Minute

    It is Blizzard's plan to weave the mobile gaming into their audience, that now is mostly centered around PCs and consoles. We're not going to go, obviously, into specifics on the numbers but yeah, they're helping develop this game .
    JUST IN: Some 80 people, mostly school children, kidnapped in Cameroon

    JUST IN: Some 80 people, mostly school children, kidnapped in Cameroon

    The children say they were kidnapped late Sunday by the armed men and they don't know where they are being held. One of them shouted, how many times have we asked you not to work here again.
  • Jeff Sessions: US attorney general fired by Trump

    Jeff Sessions: US attorney general fired by Trump

    On Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said "Protecting Mueller and his investigation is paramount". Sessions had previously submitted his resignation previous year shortly after the spec counsel was appointed, but Mr.
    Rafael Nadal confirms 'end of the season' due to injury

    Rafael Nadal confirms 'end of the season' due to injury

    Djokovic has been handed arguably the most hard group as he is paired with Alexander Zverev , Marin Cilic and John Isner . Djokovic , Federer , Zverev , Anderson , Cilic , Thiem , Nishikori and Isner are the eight aspirants to win the Finals.
    Tottenham vs. PSV Eindhoven live stream

    Tottenham vs. PSV Eindhoven live stream

    Spurs have one point from three games and will be eliminated if they lose on Tuesday and Inter Milan beat Barcelona. Asked if he thought his team need to improve against Inter, Pochettino said: "I always want more from the team".
  • Breaking Bad Movie Gets More Intriguing Details

    Breaking Bad Movie Gets More Intriguing Details

    After being rumoured for awhile now, it has been been confirmed that a breaking Bad Movie will start filming this month. Production is scheduled to begin mid-November through early February in Albuquerque.
    Thousand Oaks: 'Mass shooting' reported at California bar

    Thousand Oaks: 'Mass shooting' reported at California bar

    One witness saw the suspect tossing smoke bombs in front of the restaurant before watching a security guard get shot. Kuredjian said he could not confirm whether any of those shot were dead or the severity of their injuries.
    All Eyes on Florida's Gubernatorial Race: Will Florida Go Blue?

    All Eyes on Florida's Gubernatorial Race: Will Florida Go Blue?

    The big victor : You guessed it, the Democrat on the ticket, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum , who managed to secure a victory. Gillum said he paid cash for his share of a rental house shared with Corey and others in the 2016 Costa Rica vacation.
  • China doesn't reveal if it offered loans to Pakistan

    China doesn't reveal if it offered loans to Pakistan

    An information ministry spokesman said the misspelling had nothing to do with Mohammadi's removal, saying it was a "routine affair".
    Boeing jet crashed in Indonesia after key sensor replaced

    Boeing jet crashed in Indonesia after key sensor replaced

    Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and global destinations. On Monday angry relatives demanded answers from Lion Air founder, Rusdi Kirana, on why the jet was cleared to fly.
    10 best photos from Chargers' 25-17 win over the Seahawks

    10 best photos from Chargers' 25-17 win over the Seahawks

    The Seattle Seahawks opened their game against the Los Angeles Chargers with a touchdown drive. He threw touchdown passes of 12-yards to Tyrell Williams and 30-yards to Mike Williams.