Facebook blocks 115 accounts the day before the midterms

BTW

Facebook announced yesterday night, on the eve of the 2018 midterms, that it blocked 115 accounts for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

The news came in a post from Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cyber security policy, where he announced an investigation into the accounts.

According to the post, of the 115 accounts, 30 were on Facebook, while the other 85 were on Instagram. The majority of the Facebook accounts were in “French or Russian languages, while the Instagram accounts seem to have mostly been in English.” The accounts were primarily focused on celebrities and political debate. They were identified for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” according to the blog post.

U.S. law enforcement flagged the accounts Sunday night for potential links to foreign entities. Gleicher said Facebook would typically wait to announce such a move until the process was farther along. But with the impending election, the company made the decision to come forward with the facts “as we know them today.”

Facebook does not yet know if the accounts were linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or another foreign entity. Russia’s successful campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election relied heavily on Facebook, placing a new burden on the company to combat similar behavior in the future.

Facebook did not share any of examples of the behavior of the accounts it suspended.

H/T Reuters

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.