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Facebook took down Iranian accounts that posted about U.S., U.K. politics

Facebook took down Iranian accounts that posted about U.S., U.K. politics
[Photo: NeONBRAND/Unsplash]

Facebook took down 82 accounts, pages, and groups that posted about U.S. and U.K. politics from Iran. The company hasn’t found ties to the Iranian government but can’t say for sure who’s responsible, said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, on Friday. The company takes down accounts engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” meaning they worked together to mislead users about content they’re posting.

They posted content on “politically charged topics such as race relations, opposition to the President, and immigration,” Gleicher wrote in a blog post.

The material included 30 Pages, 33 Facebook accounts, 16 Instagram accounts, and 3 Facebook groups on Facebook. About 1.02 million accounts followed at least one of the pages. Some 25,000 accounts joined at least one of the groups, and more than 28,000 accounts followed one of the Instagram users. The accounts also hosted seven Facebook events and spent less than $100 on two ads posted in June 2016 and January 2018, according to Facebook.

Facebook shared data with U.S. and U.K. officials and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which has been monitoring social media misinformation and propaganda. The company, which has set up a “war room,” focused on stopping interference with elections, first identified the accounts about a week ago.

Facebook and Twitter took down hundreds more accounts and pages linked to Russia and Iran in August. The social media services have come under criticism for failing to take down Russia-tied propaganda posts and pages prior to the 2016 presidential election.

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