Russia in addition to Iran Created Hundreds Of Fake Accounts For Political Meddling, Facebook Says

“Part of what we’re trying to communicate overall… will be all of the steps of which we’re taking to secure the integrity of elections on Facebook,” Mark Zuckerberg said.

Last updated on August 21, 2018, at 9:08 p.m. ET

Posted on August 21, 2018, at 8:54 p.m. ET

Facebook announced on Tuesday of which has removed 652 fake Pages, groups in addition to accounts coming from Facebook in addition to Instagram for “coordinated, inauthentic behavior,” associated with Iranian in addition to Russian political influence operations.

The Iranians in addition to Russians were not coordinating with one another, Facebook said, however both “used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were in addition to what they were doing” across the US, UK, Latin America, in addition to the Middle East. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in addition to Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher said Thursday’s announcement was the result of four different investigations, one of which began after of which received information about a coordinated influence campaign coming from Iran by cybersecurity firm FireEye.

The Russian campaign, Facebook said, could be traced back to military intelligence organizations of which were previously identified by US security services. Facebook said of which had notified federal law enforcement about the fake accounts.

“Part of what we’re trying to communicate overall… will be all of the steps of which we’re taking to secure the integrity of elections on Facebook,” Zuckerberg said on a call with reporters. He also noted of which his company was “signal sharing” with additional tech firms to help identify in addition to trace bad actors across platforms, however did not explain what of which entailed.

Following Facebook’s decision, Twitter made a similar announcement in addition to suspended 284 accounts “for engaging in coordinated manipulation.” Some of the accounts of which were suspended by the social media company were highlighted in a report coming from FireEye.

Last month, Facebook announced of which of which had removed 32 pages coming from Facebook in addition to Instagram for operating similar political influence campaigns. The company would likely not definitively say where those campaigns had originated coming from, in addition to would likely not provide further details on their origin on Thursday’s call with reporters. Some of those fake pages in addition to accounts, which sought to sow national discord, set up real life events to attract real Facebook users.

Earlier This specific year, federal prosecutors indicted 13 Russians involved with the Internet Research Agency, an organization linked to the Russian government, for their involvement in election meddling campaigns.

Facebook said today’s takedowns were initiated after FireEye notified the company of a network of pages linked to “Liberty Front Press.” Following its own investigation the social media company connected the network to Iranian state media in addition to uncovered additional related accounts on Facebook in addition to Instagram.

Some of these accounts created events in addition to also bought a few thousand dollars-worth of advertising on the platform. The first of the accounts associated with Iranian media were created in 2013.

“Our systems have been able to find a lot of fake accounts of which were attempting to do bad things,” Zuckerberg said. “Each time we get better at identifying of which kind of bad activity up front.”

Senator Mark Warner said he plans to ask Facebook in addition to Twitter executives about the fake accounts at a Senate Intelligence hearing September 5th. A Google representative will also be at the hearing.

“There’s no way the problem of social media manipulation will be limited to 1 troll farm in St. Petersburg, in addition to of which fact will be today beyond a doubt,” Warner said in a statement. “We also learned today of which the Iranians are today following the Kremlin’s playbook coming from 2016.”

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