Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Hossein Salami at a pro-government demonstration on Nov. 25, 2019 in Tehran, Iran. Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iran says it has arrested over 500 people in the aftermath of protests over gas prices, AFP reports, and the regime claimed on late Wednesday that eight of those detained are linked to the CIA.

The big picture: Iran cut Internet access for the vast majority of the country earlier this month after protests erupted on Nov. 15. Human rights group Freedom House told Axios' Joe Uchill that the blackout prevented global reporting on Iranian police abuses and stifled coordination between protestors.

Driving the news: Iran accused eight detainees of trying to "collect information about the recent riots and send them out of the country" and said six of them were at "the riots and carrying out orders," Iran's state media reported late Wednesday.

  • Amnesty International believes violence from the protests has killed at least 143 people. Human Rights Watch has accused the Iranian government of "deliberately covering up" the scale of its crackdown against protestors.
  • Iranian authorities have not provided statistics on deaths or injuries from the protests, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The other side: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. had received "nearly 20,000 messages, videos, pictures, notes" of Iran's alleged abuses through the encrypted . messaging app Telegram as of Tuesday, AFP reports.

Go deeper: Iran cuts internet during, and after, protests

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Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Caroll was "lying" about her claim.

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  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech platforms are no longer satisfied with debunking falsehoods — now they're starting to invest in efforts that preemptively show users accurate information to help them counter falsehoods later on.

Why it matters: Experts argue that pre-bunking can be a more effective strategy for combative misinformation than fact-checking. It's also a less polarizing way to address misinformation than trying to apply judgements to posts after they've been shared.