Facebook Takes Down Dozens of Accounts Due to ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo in this photo illustration in Zenica
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with a laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013.
(Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

The social media giant pulled the plug on 30 accounts and 85 Instagram accounts that the company says were engaged in "coordinated inauthentic behavior."

Reports from the company's head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher revealed the latest batch of findings in a late-night blog post-Monday.

"On Sunday evening, U.S. law enforcement contacted us about the online activity that they recently discovered and which they believe may be linked to foreign entities," said Gleicher, without naming the law enforcement agency. "We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them in more detail."

Facebook didn't have much more to share, only that the Facebook Pages associated with the accounts "appear to be in the French or Russian languages, while the Instagram accounts seem to have mostly been in English - some were focused on celebrities, others political debate," he said.

A post made by Gleicher conceded that the company "would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly," but pledged to post more once the company digs in. Some of the additional details that we expect include whether the accounts are linked to earlier account takedowns that are linked to Iran.

Efforts to reach out to Facebook spokesperson did not bear any fruit as he did not comment further on the matter.

The incident is the latest batch in account takedowns in recent weeks, ahead of the U.S. midterm elections. This comes as millions of Americans are preparing to go to the polls to vote for new congressional lawmakers and state governors.

We probably know that this election acts as a barometer for the health of the Trump administration, two years after the president was elected amid a concerted state-backed effort by Russian intelligence to spread disinformation and discord on his Democratic opponent.

There's another report that was unveiled earlier on Monday. The report came from Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism. It found that election interference remains a major problem for the platform, this comes despite repeated promises from high-level executives that the company is doing what it can to fight false news and misinformation that might crop up.

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