Facebook closed two rogue account networks for the United States before the presidential election, the social network said Tuesday, adding that the campaigns were small and were intercepted early.
The latest Facebook deletions will take place afterHe said last week that Russia and Iran had received voter registration data to meddle in the upcoming elections. The social network closed the accounts because the people behind them tried to mislead others about their identity and purpose.
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Facebook, which worked with the FBI, said it removed a single fake account created in October 2020 and attempted to spread unsubstantiated claims that Iranians had hacked into US electoral systems. The complaints were also disseminated mainly by email. The social network also removed 11 Facebook accounts, six pages, and 11 Instagram accounts, which were largely inactive and focused on Israel. These reports covered Saudi Arabia’s activities in the Middle East and an alleged massacre at Eurovision, Facebook said. The company said it has found some connections with people associated with the Iranian government.
Facebook also removed another network of two Facebook pages and 22 Instagram accounts, some of which attempted to impersonate American accounts. Facebook linked the activities with people from Mexico and Venezuela and published the reports on current events and hot topics such as religion, race relations and the environment. Some of the reports used memes posted by Russia’s Internet Research Agency, the infamous troll farm that interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.
Nathaniel Gleicher, who oversees Facebook’s cybersecurity policy, said the company is in a different location than in the 2016 US elections. Disinformation campaigns are captured before and before elections. Bad actors switch to other tactics, like trying to get writers to write for bogus media organizations.
“It is important that we are all vigilant, but we also see these campaigns for what they are, small and largely ineffective, and not for what the threat actors behind them want to see pervasive and powerful,” he said.