Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Facebook announced Thursday it was removing 783 pages, groups and accounts from Facebook and Instagram that were part of an apparent Iranian influence campaign.

Why it matters: The accounts were pursuing what Facebook calls "coordinated inauthentic behavior" and focused on influencing opinion in a bevy of countries, including the U.S.

Details: The countries targeted included Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, U.S., and Yemen.

  • The accounts included 262 Facebook pages, 356 Facebook accounts, 3 Facebook group and 162 accounts on Instagram. There were 8 live events, with 210 people expressing interest in the events.
  • 2 million accounts followed the Facebook pages.
  • Facebook has shared the messaging with law enforcement and lawmakers, as well as the Atlantic Council for third party analysis.
  • Facebook said some content was taken from Iranian state media.

Facebook credited its own work with Twitter's help for finding the attacks. "The first source of this takedown was our own internal investigation...but a second important source was industry partnerships, in this case Twitter," said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook.

Simultaneously, Twitter released a review of security actions surrounding the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and said that since then it has taken down additional accounts tied to Iran (2617), Russia (418) and Venezuela (764).

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Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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