• Thursday, Nov 14, 2019
  • Last Update : 09:58 pm

Facebook suspends Russian Instagram accounts targeting US voters

  • Published at 10:52 am October 22nd, 2019
AUSTRALIA-POLITICS/FACEBOOK
Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of the Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018 Reuters

The social media giant also said on Monday it also had suspended three separate networks operated from Iran

Facebook Inc confirmed it has suspended a network of Instagram accounts operated from Russia that targeted Americans with divisive political messages ahead of next year’s US presidential election, with operators posing as people within the United States. 

The social media giant also said on Monday it also had suspended three separate networks operated from Iran

The Russian network “showed some links” to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), Facebook said, an organization Washington has said was used by Moscow to meddle in the 2016 US election.

“We see this operation targeting largely US public debate and engaging in the sort of political issues that are challenging and sometimes divisive in the US right now,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cyber security policy.

“Whenever you do that, a piece of what you engage on are topics that are going to matter for the election. But I can’t say exactly what their goal was.”

Facebook also announced new steps to fight foreign interference and misinformation ahead of the November 2020 election, including labeling state-controlled media outlets and adding greater protections for elected officials and candidates who may be vulnerable targets for hacking.

US security officials have warned that Russia, Iran and other countries could attempt to sway the result of next year’s presidential vote. Officials say they are on high alert for signs of foreign influence campaigns on social media.

Moscow and Tehran have repeatedly denied the allegations.