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  Technology   In Other news  13 Mar 2020  Russia-linked Facebook accounts targeting US audience removed

Russia-linked Facebook accounts targeting US audience removed

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Mar 13, 2020, 5:54 pm IST
Updated : Mar 13, 2020, 5:54 pm IST

Facebook removed 49 accounts, 69 pages and 85 Instagram accounts with a total of nearly 300,000 followers

Seemingly innocuous posts such as this one were being shared by a network linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency, Facebook said. (Photo | Facebook)
 Seemingly innocuous posts such as this one were being shared by a network linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency, Facebook said. (Photo | Facebook)

Chennai: Facebook on Thursday removed 49 accounts and 69 pages on its platform as well as 85 Instagram accounts for engaging in “foreign interference” in Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of individuals in Russia, and primarily targeting the United States, Facebook's head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in a blog post.

The blog post said that 13,500 accounts followed one or more of these Pages and around 265,000 people followed one or more of these Instagram accounts, about 65% of which were in the US.

Facebook said that these accounts routinely posted targeting a US audience, posing as NGOs or personal blogs and writing about black history, fashion, celebrity news, LGBTQ issues and events related to famous Americans from history.

The posts raised suspicion as Facbook the network was linked to activity previously removed and attributed to EBLA, an NGO in Ghana, and individuals associated with past activity by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) in April, July and November of 2018.

The network that had been detected by Facebook had used fake accounts and coordinated with one another to mislead people about what they were doing, the company said. That behaviour was what led Facebook to action taken against them, rather than the content they posted, which dealt with police brutality, injustice and oppression, the blog said. The posts did not directly talk about the US election.

The information has been shared with law enforcement, policy makers and other tech firms, Facebook said.

Tags: facebook, instagram, fake accounts, 2020 us elections, russian meddling
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