After lax cybersecurity led to social media foul play the last election, Facebook is hoping to avoid that mistake again with a last-minute overview of its site Monday night. This resulted in the company blocking 115 accounts on its services that may have been engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, according to CNBC.
The organization claims U.S. law enforcement notified Facebook on Sunday of the accounts’ unusual online activity, believing they “may be linked to foreign entities.”
“Given that we are only one day away from important elections in the U.S., we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today,” the company said in its blog post.
A total of 85 accounts were blocked on Instagram while the remaining 30 accounts were found on Facebook itself. The company claims the Instagram accounts were in English while the pages associated with the Facebook accounts were in French and Russian.
“Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly. But given that we are only one day away from important elections in the US, we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today,” continued the blog post. “Once we know more — including whether these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities — we will update this post.
According to TIME, Facebook removed 82 pages, accounts and groups tied to Iran and aimed at stirring up strife in the U.S. and the U.K. last month. In August, the social network removed 652 pages, groups and accounts linked to Russia and Iran. Twitter has identified more than 4,600 accounts and 10 million tweets linked to foreign meddling in U.S. elections, including the 2016 presidential vote.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.