Facebook suspends more fake accounts ahead of US midterms

Schiff New Facebook influence campaign 'bears hallmarks' of 2016 Russian election activity

"This kind of behaviour is not allowed on Facebook because we don't want people or organisations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they're doing", the statement said.

The company said it found some connections between the accounts it removed and the accounts connected to Russia's Internet Research Agency that it removed before and after the 2016 USA presidential elections.

Facebook today revealed that, just in time for the American midterm elections, it's uncovered a new spate of fake news pages guilty of "coordinated inauthentic behavior".

The accounts spent Dollars 11,000 to run 150 ads on both Facebook and Instagram between April 2017 and June of this year.

The first of the pages was created in March 2017.

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For example, they used virtual private networks and internet phone services, and paid third parties to run ads on their behalf.

Facebook said it didn't yet know who was behind the effort. They also organized about 30 events, only two of which were slated for the future.

"We know that Russians and other bad actors are going to continue to try to abuse our platform - before the midterms, probably during the midterms, after the midterms, and around other events and elections", Gleicher said. The company has been working with the FBI to investigate the activity.

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Facebook disclosed in September that Russians under fake names had used the social network to try to influence U.S. voters in the months before and after the 2016 election, writing about divisive issues, setting up events and buying ads. The "No United the Right 2 -DC" event was meant to be a counter-protest to a rally planned by right-wing groups as a follow-up to last year's deadly "United the Right" protests in Charlottesville, Va.

Facebook said more than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the fake pages. The pages and accounts-which include names such as "Aztlan Warriors", "Black Elevation,".

It said 2,600 people had expressed interest in the event, with 600 planning to attend the protest close to the White House. The other was the #AbolishICE social media campaign aimed at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. But he said that Democrats, not his fellow Republicans, would be the ones targeted.

"At this point in our investigation we do not have enough technical evidence to state definitively who is behind this", said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy. The indictment accused the IRA of seeking, in part, "to conduct what it called "information warfare against the United States of America" through fictitious USA personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media".

Facebook said it expanded internal security staff and hired counterterrorism experts, among other steps.

The company has hired thousands of new security staff, partnered with research organizations, and improved its artificial intelligence tools for detecting disinformation. The company will hold a conference call later on Tuesday.

Facebook has been grappling with an ongoing public backlash for being slow to recognize Russian interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, along with widespread concerns over its past data-sharing practices.

"We are continually looking for that type of activity, and as and when we find things, which we think is inevitable, we'll notify law enforcement, and where we can, the public". He said the full extent of this effort may not yet be known.

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