Facebook confirms suspicious accounts removed ahead of U.S. midterms linked to Russia-based website

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-07 16:10:22|Editor: xuxin
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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. social media network Facebook Inc. confirmed late Tuesday that over 100 suspicious accounts removed ahead of U.S. midterm elections Monday were linked to a Russian site.

Facebook said those accounts were connected to a website claiming to be associated with the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) which the social media giant has accused of running "inauthentic accounts" on its platform earlier this year.

"Last night, following a tip-off from law enforcement, we blocked over 100 Facebook and Instagram accounts due to concerns that they were linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) and engaged in co-ordinated inauthentic behavior, which is banned from our services," Facebook said in a statement.

"This evening a website claiming to be associated with the IRA published a list of Instagram accounts they claim to have created. We had already blocked most of these accounts yesterday, and have now blocked the rest," Facebook added.

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."

Facebook made the latest confirmation on the election day when U.S. voters went to polls Tuesday for the midterms.

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.

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