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

06 November 2018

Facebook, which owns Instagram, said it immediately blocked accounts and opened an investigation.

This year's contest has been portrayed as crucial by both Republicans and Democrats because both chambers of Congress, and the accompanying ability to pass or reject President Donald Trump's agenda, are up for grabs.

Facebook, Inc. said it has identified and blocked some 30 Facebook and 85 Instagram accounts over concerns of foreign election interference, on the eve of the US midterm elections.

"Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly", Gleicher said.

The company said that they made the announcement despite being only in the initial stage of the investigation as the elections are only a day away and they want to inform their customers about the "action taken and the facts as we know them today".

Nearly all of the Facebook pages linked to the accounts appeared to be in French or Russian while the Instagram ones were mostly in English.

"We're exploring additional checks to help prevent abuse and will respond to requests from law enforcement and election officials now and in the future if new requirements arise", director of product management Rob Leathern said in a statement to the outlet.

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It added all the Facebook pages associated with the accounts appeared to be in French or Russian languages.

Despite an aggressive crackdown by social media firms, so-called "junk news" is spreading at a greater rate than in 2016 on social media ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, Oxford Internet Institute researchers said in a study published Thursday.

The shutdown of thousands of Russian-controlled accounts by Twitter and Facebook - plus the indictments of 14 people from Russia's notorious troll farm the Internet Research Agency - have blunted but by no means halted their efforts to influence United States politics.

It is merely the latest disinformation campaign to have been flagged by Facebook.

Employees work in Facebook's "War Room", during a media demonstration, October 17, 2018, in Menlo Park, Calif.

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

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