Social media giant Facebook has blocked 115 accounts suspected of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” across both Facebook and Instagram ahead of the midterm elections.
ABC News reports that ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, Facebook has blocked a number of accounts across both Facebook and Instagram. In a blog post the company stated: “On Sunday evening, U.S. law enforcement contacted us about online activity that they recently discovered and which they believe may be linked to foreign entities,” said Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher. “We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them in more detail.”
The company reportedly blocked 30 accounts on Facebook and another 85 on Instagram. The blocked Facebook pages reportedly communicated mainly in French and Russian although the majority of accounts on Instagram were English-speaking. “Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly,” Gleicher said. “But given that we are only one day away from important elections in the U.S., we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today.”
Gleicher said that the company will provide more information when it’s available, stating: “Once we know more — including whether these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities — we will update this post.”
Facebook recently opened an election “War Room” designed to help the company curb the spread of misinformation online ahead of the midterm elections. “Finding and removing abuse is a constant challenge. Our adversaries are smart and well funded, and as we improve their tactics change,” the company said in a statement from October. “We prohibit coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook because we want people who use our services to be able to trust the connections they make.”
Facebook isn’t the only social media platform cracking down on accounts ahead of the midterms, Breitbart News reported yesterday that Twitter deleted as many as 10,000 accounts at the request of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a party group that supports Democrats running for the U.S. House of Representatives.