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Facebook uncovers sophisticated attempts to influence upcoming US elections

Facebook uncovers sophisticated attempts to influence upcoming US elections
Facebook uncovers sophisticated attempts to influence upcoming US elections

Facebook says it has uncovered “sophisticated” efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to influence U.S. politics on its platforms.

The company says it removed 32 accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in “coordinated” behavior and appeared to be fake.

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"This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don’t want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they’re doing," the company wrote in a release.

While the pages are still being investigated, Facebook wrote it is reporting what is known currently because of a connection between "bad actors" and protests that are planned in Washington next week.

More than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of inauthentic pages, the earliest of which was created in March 2017. The latest was created in May 2018. The most followed Facebook Pages were “Aztlan Warriors,” “Black Elevation,” “Mindful Being,” and “Resisters.”

The pages ran about 150 ads for approximately $11,000 on Facebook and Instagram, paid for in US and Canadian dollars.

Below are some samples of content posted by the inauthentic pages:

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The company says it doesn’t know who is behind the efforts, but said there are may be connections to Russia. Facebook says it has found some connections between the accounts it removed and the accounts connected to Russia’s Internet Research Agency that it removed before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

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