Roughly 1 million US, UK users followed the removed accounts

Oct 26, 2018 21:09 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
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Facebook announced the removal of 82 Iranian-connected pages, groups, and accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting US and UK citizens on both Facebook and Instagram.

This is not the first time Facebook removed Pages, groups, and accounts detected as being controlled by Iranian nationals posing as other entities, since 652 of them were also removed on August 21.

In the case of the 82 accounts disabled today, Facebook concluded that they were misrepresenting themselves as US and UK citizens posting content related to opposition to the President, race relations, and immigration to influence the public's opinion on a variety of subjects.

Moreover, as Facebook also stated in their press release, the accounts removed today were somewhat overlapping with some of the Pages, groups, and accounts deactivated on August 21.

"Our threat intelligence team first detected this activity one week ago," says the report. "Given the elections, we took action as soon as we’d completed our initial investigation and shared the information with US and UK government officials, US law enforcement, Congress, other technology companies and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab."

Facebook also disabled 652 Facebook and Instagram accounts on August 21 for coordinated inauthentic behavior

The Iranian accounts who were trying to hide their identity and to pose as US and UK individuals were eventually exposed after a manual review by security experts from Facebook's elections war room.

"As soon as we detected this activity, the teams in our elections war room worked quickly to investigate and remove these bad actors," says Facebook.

Also, "Finding and removing abuse is a constant challenge. Our adversaries are smart and well funded, and as we improve their tactics change."

Over 20,000 Facebook employees are now working on making sure that all users are safe and protected from fake news and inauthentic behavior on a daily basis.

Furthermore, the social network is also closely collaborating with other companies' security experts, as well as governments and law enforcement agencies to make sure that coordinated inauthentic behavior is blocked in its early stages.

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