Facebook suspends more fake accounts ahead of US midterms

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The social media giant said late on July 31 that it could not connect the efforts directly to Russia or to the midterm elections, which are less than 100 days away, but legislators briefed by Facebook said the methodology used by the perpetrators pointed to Russian involvement.

Facebook in a statement said it had no evidence yet linking the effort to Russia, whose Internet Research Agency was at the center of a series of indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian election interference and possible collusion with President Trump's campaign.

Speaking more about the removal of pages, Facebook said that it identified these inauthentic pages active on its platform as part of its investigation in the election interference. Warner expressed "pretty high confidence" that Russian Federation was behind the assault. Republican Senator Richard Burr applauded the action against disinformation campaigns. "The Russians want a weak America".

It is facing criminal charges of illegal interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Democratic lawmakers said the disclosure only clarified what they have feared since the extent of Russian involvement in 2016 became clear more than a year ago. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company has removed 32 pages and accounts from its platforms for "coordinated inauthentic behavior".

They also used third parties to publish paid advertisements on Facebook, in violation of the social-media firm's policies banning foreign entities from buying U.S. political ads. It also said some of the pages' behavior was "consistent" with what it saw from Russia's Internet Research Agency before and after the 2016 election.

For example, after the Resisters account created a Facebook event for a protest on 10 to 12 August called "No Unite the Right 2", five other page owners offered to co-host the demonstration and posted details about transportation and locations. Facebook discovered coordinated activity around issues such as a sequel to last year's deadly "Unite the Right" white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

It's worth noting that Senator Mark Warner, a ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued a statement immediately following Facebook's disclosure that outright blames this new coordinated network of misinformation on Russian Federation and the Kremlin. A previous event past year in Charlottesville, South Carolina, led to violence by white supremacists.

The Silicon Valley darling will never stop being a target for those who wish to manipulate people.

Samples of the inauthentic accounts' posts released by Facebook touch on hot-button political issues, but they don't reference 2018 political candidates.

According to Facebook, the pages ran roughly 150 ads on the social media sites at the cost of approximately $11,000. They managed to create about 30 events since May 2017, with the largest event showing about 4,700 accounts interested in attending.

They also used third parties to publish paid advertisements on Facebook, in violation of the social media firm's policies banning foreign entities from buying USA political ads.

Since the 2016 election, Facebook has cracked down on fake accounts and tried to slow the spread of fake news and misinformation through outside fact-checkers.

According to The New York Times, which first reported the news, these accounts have engaged in a "coordinated political influence campaign".

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