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Facebook removes accounts tied to Iran for disinformation

Facebook's logo on a sign
Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Facebook said Friday is had removed more than 80 accounts, pages and groups associated with “coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Iran and targeted people in the U.S. and U.K."

Why it matters: The company's response to disinformation campaigns aimed at Americans is being closely watched ahead of the midterm elections.

Details:

  • The company's head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a blog post that "administrators and account owners typically represented themselves as U.S. citizens, or in a few cases U.K. citizens — and they posted about politically charged topics such as race relations, opposition to the president, and immigration."
  • The firm spotted the activity a week ago, he said.
  • An analysis by the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab found that "These accounts masqueraded primarily as American liberals, posting only small amounts of anti-Saudi and anti-Israeli content interspersed within large volumes of divisive political content such as race relations, police brutality, and U.S. President Donald Trump."

Gleicher said that it is "still early days and while we have found no ties to the Iranian government, we can’t say for sure who is responsible." He also noted there was "some overlap with the Iranian accounts and Pages" the company took down this summer.

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