US Midterm Polls: FB, Insta block accounts fearing foreign interference
Some 30 of Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts were blocked over concerns that they may be linked to foreign entities and aimed at interfering in the US midterm elections. The announcement by Facebook yesterday came shortly after US intelligence agencies said they had no indication of efforts to disrupt election infrastructure but Americans should be wary of attempts by Russia. Here's more.
'Wanted to let people know about action we've taken': FB
Through a blog post, Facebook said during their early-stage investigation, several accounts "that may be engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior" have been identified. "Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly. But given that we're only one day away from important elections in the US, we wanted to let people know about the action we've taken," Facebook added.
Facebook tweeted the development this morning
Most of the blocked Instagram accounts focused on political debate
Meanwhile, the Instagram accounts were mostly in English, with some "focused on celebrities, others political debate." A study published last week found that misinformation on social media was spreading at a greater rate than during the run-up to the 2016 presidential vote, which Russia is accused of manipulating through a vast propaganda campaign in favor of Donald Trump, the eventual winner.
Twitter too has deleted a 'series of accounts'
The study done by Oxford Internet Institute researchers, published Thursday, said that despite an aggressive crackdown by social media firms, so-called "junk news" is spreading at a greater rate on social media than in 2016, ahead of the US midterm elections. Taking a note, Twitter said on Saturday that it deleted a "series of accounts" that attempted to share disinformation without giving a number.