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Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook announced Monday that it had removed a network of "coordinated inauthentic behavior" originating in Russia, as well as three others originating in Iran, bringing the total number of such "information operations" it has acted against in the last year to more than 50.

Why it matters: Some of the activity was linked to Russia's Internet Research Agency, the government-backed operation that flooded social media with propaganda during the 2016 election, creating networks of fake accounts and, per CNN, targeting Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's campaign.

Details: Facebook also announced a number of changes to its policies around political speech and elections as it ramps up security for the 2020 presidential election.

  • The labels it places on content determined by independent fact-checkers to be false will be "much more prominent," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
  • Facebook will also add new labeling to content that is from "state-sponsored media."
  • Facebook pages will tell visitors what country the page is operated from and the legal name of the person or organization operating it, and it is also adding new ways for the public and researchers to access and use its open library of all the political ads it has run.

The big picture: Zuckerberg says Facebook was caught on its "back foot" in handling misinformation in 2016 and that it is better prepared now. The changes come as Facebook is under fire for running inaccurate political ads from the Trump campaign — a policy that Zuckerberg defended last week.

What they're saying:

  • "I've referred to this as an arms race, that's the right analogy — they're getting better, we're getting better," Zuckerberg said.
  • He added that Facebook's ability to shut down the Russian operation while it was still in the early stages of building a following was one sign of Facebook's improved capabilities since 2016.
  • "The bad guys are going to keep trying to do this, and along with our partners, we're going to make it harder and harder for them to do this," said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy.

What's next: Facebook's announcement comes two days before Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear at a House hearing on its Libra cryptocurrency project.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.