Facebook's much-publicized "war room" to monitor possible election interference. Photo: Noah Berger/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook late Monday said it had blocked accounts from its namesake platform and Instagram, some of them focused on politics, after law enforcement told the company they might be linked to "foreign entities."

Why it matters: The announcement came less than 12 hours before polls open for the U.S. midterm elections.

What they're saying: "Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly," said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, in a blog post. "But 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."

Details:

  • Gleicher said the company had blocked 30 accounts on Facebook and another 85 on Instagram, which is now investigating "in more detail."
  • "Almost all the Facebook Pages associated with these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages, while the Instagram accounts seem to have mostly been in English — some were focused on celebrities, others political debate," he said.
  • Law enforcement notified the company on Sunday. Gleicher did not say which agency or agencies were involved.

The bigger picture: The company has taken down accounts and pages in recent months as it faces significant pressure to prevent online election interference in the midterms.

  • In a joint statement on Monday, top law enforcement and intelligence officials said, "At this time we have no indication of compromise of our nation’s election infrastructure that would prevent voting, change vote counts, or disrupt the ability to tally votes."

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Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

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Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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