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Facebook shuts hundreds of Russia-linked pages, accounts

  • January 17, 2019

Facebook pronounced Thursday it private hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups and accounts that it says were partial of dual large disinformation operations, in a latest bid to quarrel feign news.

The amicable media association pronounced it took movement after anticipating dual networks “that intent in mutual inauthentic behaviour” on a Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Facebook’s conduct of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a blog post that one network operated in countries in Central and Eastern Europe, a Baltics, Central Asia and a Caucasus. The other focused on Ukraine.

The preference is clearly political. This is tantamount to censorship.– Sputnik

The people using a accounts represented themselves as eccentric news sources and posted on topics like anti-NATO view and criticism movements.

“We didn’t find any links between these operations, though they used identical strategy by formulating networks of accounts to trick others about who they were and what they were doing,” Gleicher said.

$135,000 US in ads

Gleicher pronounced one network of 364 pages and accounts was related to employees of Sputnik, a Russian state-run English-language news site. About 790,000 accounts followed one or some-more of a network’s pages. The operation spent about $135,000 US over 6 years for Facebook advertisements, that it paid for in euros, rubles and dollars. The many new ad ran in January.

Sputnik criticized Facebook’s takedown.

“The preference is clearly political. This is tantamount to censorship,” it pronounced in a matter to a AP, adding Facebook blocked a accounts of 7 of a bureaus in former Soviet republics.

“Sputnik editorial offices understanding with news and they do it well. If this restraint is Facebook’s usually greeting to a peculiarity of a media’s work, afterwards we have no questions, all is transparent here. But there is still wish that common clarity will prevail.”

Acting on a tip from U.S. law enforcement, Facebook close another 148 pages, groups and accounts, including 41 on Instagram, that were partial of a second network that spent $25,000 on ads in 2018, paid for in rubles. Gleicher pronounced Facebook “identified some technical overlie with Russia-based activity we saw before to a U.S. midterm elections, including poise that common characteristics with prior Internet Research Agency activity.”

The Internet Research Agency is a Russian goblin plantation indicted by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller for a actions directed during conversion a 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The avowal is a latest in a array of feign comment purges in new months. Facebook has been stepping adult a inspection after being criticized for a delayed response to unfamiliar attempts to change a 2016 presidential election.

In another magnitude directed during augmenting transparency, Facebook final year started requiring all domestic ads taken out in a U.S., Britain and Brazil to divulge who paid for them.

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