Facebook uncovers attempts to influence upcoming USA elections

039;Hilarious & paranoid': Lavrov laughs at idea that Russia uses memes to destroy US democracy

The company said it was still in the early stages of its investigation and did not yet know who may be behind the influence campaign for 2018 elections that will determine whether or not the Republican Party keeps control of Congress.

Facebook announced today that it has removed 32 accounts that it believes were fraudulently attempting to use divisive politics to influence the midterm elections. Facebook said it had disabled the event and was in the process of contacting almost 2,600 people who had said they were interested in attending.

Facebook also published images showing the type of content the Facebook pages published, including posts and events they tried to organize. In fact, Facebook found connections between some of the new suspicious accounts and previously identified IRA accounts. "It's an arms race and we need to constantly improve too", Facebook said.

Trump, now president, has repeatedly downplayed Kremlin efforts to interfere in U.S. democracy.

President Putin has, however, denied that Russian meddled.

But after Facebook's announcement, the White House stressed Trump opposed all efforts at election interference. "The United States of America will not tolerate any foreign interference in our elections from any nation state".

After it became clear that Russia-linked actors used social media to try to influence the 2016 USA election, Facebook has stepped up its efforts to ensure that what happened then does not happen again.

Facebook said that the accounts helped boost the #AbolishICE hashtag, a new viral campaign of the hard left aimed at building a movement to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Special counsel Robert Mueller later indicted the IRA for its "strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system".

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"This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don't want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they're doing", the company said.

Facebook noticed that a known Internet Research Agency account had been made a co-administrator on a fake page for a period of seven minutes - something a top Facebook official called "interesting but not determinative". And the pages created roughly 30 events over a similar time period, the largest of which attracted interest from 4,700 accounts.

"We think that is interesting but not determinative", said Alex Stamos, the company's chief security officer.

It's why we're investing heavily in more people and better technology to prevent bad actors misusing Facebook - as well as working much more closely with law enforcement and other tech companies to better understand the threats we face.

Facebook says it has uncovered sophisticated efforts to influence USA politics on its platforms.

"The goal of these operations is to sow discord, distrust and division", he added. The Resisters page partnered with five authentic US progressive groups to organize an August 10 rally marking the one-year anniversary of the deadly white nationalist "Unite the Rally" in Charlottesville, Virginia, Facebook announced.

"In total, more than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of these Pages, the earliest of which was created in March 2017".

The Atlantic Council said the Resisters page, which advocated left-wing feminist causes, raised alarms because it was pushing for confrontation at multiple protests, including against supporters of the right-wing "Unite the Right 2" group, raising the potential for violence.

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