Facebook Just Shut Down Dozens of Fake Pages

Facebook Just Shut Down Dozens of Fake Pages

In fact, Facebook found connections between some of the new suspicious accounts and previously identified IRA accounts.

The company said it was unable to link any of the accounts or pages to Russian Federation, but admitted that some of their activity was "consistent" with that of the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-backed organisation accused of interfering with the 2016 presidential.

The social media giant confirmed on its website on Tuesday that it has "removed 32 pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour".

Facebook has removed the suspect accounts, but says other legitimate page administrators unwittingly interacted with them.

In a long series of blog posts, Facebook execs outlined how a network of posts and profiles have been working together to sow discord.

This post originally appeared on Tom's Hardware.

One fake page called "Resisters" was involved in coordinating a protest in Washington D.C. on August 10-12.

More than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the pages and about $11,000 had been spent on about 150 ads, Facebook said.

The social media company said it is still early in its investigation of possible fake accounts.

During a media briefing today, Facebook's chief information security officer Alex Stamos said the network behind these accounts did more to hide their identities than the Russia-backed Internet Research Agency did in 2016, including using VPNs and internet phone services, and paying third parties to place ads on their behalf.

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Gleicher said the creators of these inauthentic accounts went to great lengths to disguise their identities, employing virtual public networks and internet phone services.

"Whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their identities" than Russian Federation did in 2016, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said Tuesday.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is heading a sprawling investigation into possible collusion with Russian Federation by Trump's campaign to tip the vote toward the real estate tycoon.

▻ There were more than 9,500 organic posts created by these accounts on Facebook and one piece of content on Instagram.

A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said Facebook had informed his office that "that a limited group of Russian actors has attempted to spread disinformation using its platform and that the affected groups are affiliated with the political left". "These discoveries helped us uncover the other inauthentic accounts we disabled today".

President Donald Trump has offered mixed messages on Russian interference, at times even calling it a "hoax". The Atlantic Council, an outside group assisting Facebook in weeding out inauthentic actors, identified a 4,000-member group allegedly launched by Russian agents but dormant since it was disabled a year ago.

Still, Facebook said it's possible that this latest campaign is actually the IRA with improved techniques.

Facebook stopped short of saying the effort was aimed at influencing the United States midterm elections in November, although the timing of the suspicious activity would be consistent with such an attempt.

On a conference call, Facebook executives declined to say much more, including whether the pages mentioned specific candidates or politicians running for reelection in Congress. "We know that Russian Federation is coming back in 2018, 2020, and beyond".

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, identified several of the accounts by name - including; "Aztlan Warriors", "Black Elevation", "Mindful Being", and "Resisters".

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