Facebook blocks 115 accounts for alleged 'inauthentic behavior' ahead of midterms

Omar Marques  SOPA Images  LightRocket via Getty Images

Omar Marques SOPA Images LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said its "very early-stage investigation" into the activity had identified 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts which could have been involved, and that it had immediately blocked these accounts.

Russian Federation is accused of propaganda campaign in favour of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential vote.

"Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly", said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, in a blog post published Monday. The Instagram accounts are mostly in English - some were focused on celebrities, others political debate, Gleicher wrote.

Social media companies say they are now more vigilant against foreign and other potential election interference after finding themselves unprepared to tackle such activity in the USA presidential election two years ago.

They were widely criticized following the 2016 presidential election for allowing themselves to be exploited by foreign influence campaigns.

The company announced its actions earlier in its investigation than typical "given that we are only one day away from important elections in the USA", he added.

"We see this as probably the biggest companywide reorientation since our shift from desktops to mobile phones", Samidh Chakrabarti, who's in charge of elections and civic engagement at Facebook, told The New York Times. In August, another 652 pages also linked to Iran were taken down.

The company reportedly blocked 30 accounts on Facebook and another 85 on Instagram.

Facebook said it would provide further information on whether the accounts are linked to the Internet Research Agency, a group linked to Russian propaganda efforts.

Facebook weeks ago opened a "war room" at its Menlo Park headquarters in California to be a nerve center for the fight against misinformation and manipulation of the largest social network by foreign actors trying to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere.

Facebook didn't always take the risk of election interference seriously, however.

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