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Facebook removes 32 accounts ahead of United States Mid-Term Elections

Los Angeles: In its bid to curb foreign meddling in US elections, Facebook has removed 32 accounts for suspicious activities and hiding their true identities ahead of the mid-term Congressional polls in November. “This kind of behaviour 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,” Facebook said in a statement in a statement on Tuesday.

The social network said that these bad actors involved in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” had a connection with protests that are planned in Washington next week. Among the deleted pages was one called “Resisters,” which had created a Facebook Event – “No Unite the Right 2-DC” – a counterdemonstration to Unite the Right 2-DC rally planned for August 12 in Washington. “We’re still in the very early stages of our investigation and don’t have all the facts… We are sharing what we know today given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington next week. We will update this post with more details when we have them, or if the facts we have changed,” Facebook added.

The social network founded by Mark Zuckerberg found itself at the center of controversy during the 2016 presidential election for the use of its platform to spread fake news and sowing seeds of discontent among voters. Referring to the 32 pages and accounts that it removed, Facebook said that “whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past.”

IRA is accused by Facebook and the US Department of Justice of having played a key role in the campaign of hoaxes and fake news on controversial and divisive issues designed to try to influence the 2016 election in which Donald Trump won the White House, Efe reported. In the current probe, the tech giant eliminated eight Facebook Pages and 17 profiles, as well as seven Instagram accounts. “In total, more than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of these Pages, the earliest of which was created in March 2017,” said Facebook. (IANS)

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