NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook said it has revealed "sophisticated" efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to affect US policies on the platforms.
The company said that it removed 32 accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in "coordinated" political behavior and seemed to be fake.
Facebook stopped short to say that the effort was aimed at influencing the US mid-term elections in November, even though the timing of the suspicious activity would be consistent with such an attempt. 19659002] According to a Facebook official, the company held briefings in the house and the senate this week. The officer refused to be named because the information was private. Facebook revealed its findings after the New York Times reported on them earlier Tuesday.
The company said it does not know who is behind the effort, but said there could be connections to Russia. Facebook said that there were some connections between the accounts it removed and the accounts associated with Russia's Internet Research Agency, as it removed before and after 201
The earliest page was created in March 2017. Facebook says more than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the fake pages. The most followed Facebook pages had names like "Aztlan Warriors", "Black Elevation", "Mindful Being" and "Resisters."
Facebook says that the pages drove around 150 ads for $ 11,000 on Facebook and Instagram, paid for in US and Canadian dollars. The first ad was created in April 2017; The last one was created in June 2018.
The company added that the perpetrators have been "more careful to cover their tracks" than in 2016, partly because of the steps Facebook has taken to prevent abuse during the past year. For example, they used virtual private networks and internet telephony services, and paid third parties to direct ads on their behalf.