Reddit bans 944 accounts linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency

Steve Huffman CEO, Reddit, delivers remarks on 'Redesigning Reddit' during the third day of Web Summit in Altice Arena on November 08, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Horacio Villalobos | Corbis | Getty Images

Steve Huffman CEO, Reddit, delivers remarks on ‘Redesigning Reddit’ during the third day of Web Summit in Altice Arena on November 08, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Reddit has banned almost 1,000 accounts linked to a controversial Russian firm accused of using online propaganda to influence the U.S. presidential election.

The firm found 944 accounts on the platform with ties to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), a so-called “troll farm” based in St. Petersburg, CEO Steve Huffman said in an announcement Tuesday.

The development follows Facebook’s efforts to purge IRA-related accounts via its network. Last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social network was removing more than 270 pages as well as accounts operated by the IRA.

Zuckerberg was faced with intense grilling by Congress on Tuesday, over the sharing of 87 million users’ personal information with data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook’s co-founder will be due to appear before U.S. lawmakers again on Wednesday.

Facebook as well as Reddit differ, however, in which the latter lets users create anonymous accounts. Both have content policies which restrict what users can post online, as well as Reddit has said the idea will be doing more to tackle content violations.

In October, the site implemented a ban on content which “glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.” This kind of led to the shutting down of Nazi communities, or “subreddits,” including r/NationalSocialism, r/Nazi as well as r/Far_Right.

Last year, Huffman told CNBC which users misbehaving on Reddit were a minority. One subreddit, r/The_Donald became surrounded in controversy during the 2016 election battle between Hillary Clinton as well as Donald Trump. The community will be devoted to supporters of the president.

Huffman said which IRA-linked accounts made 316 posts to r/The_Donald. He said in March which the company was cooperating with Congressional inquiries related to possible Russian interference inside the U.S. presidential election.

The chief executive also included a link inside the announcement to all of the 944 IRA-linked accounts “to allow moderators, investigators, as well as all of you to see their account histories for yourselves.”

Reddit as well as Facebook aren’t alone in being troubled by Russia-linked accounts which are accused of attempting to sway the U.S. election. In February, NBC News published a database of more than 0,000 Twitter posts which could be traced back to Russia’s IRA.

In February, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office announced which a federal grand jury had indicted 13 Russian nationals as well as three Russian entities. Mueller’s office also alleged which the IRA was controlled by Yevgeny Progozhin, a wealth ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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