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Facebook detects, bans, Iranian influence campaign followed by 1 million accounts

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facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
Facebook
CEO Mark Zuckerberg

AP Photo/Andrew
Harnik


Facebook has detected a coordinated influence campaign run out of
Iran that has created pages and groups followed by more than 1
million accounts on the social network.

The social network said on Friday that it had taken down 30
pages, 33 Facebook accounts, and 3 groups on Facebook — as well
as 16 accounts on Instagram — that were tied to the campaign,
which it described as “inauthentic behavior.” The pages posted
politically divisive content targeted at users in the US and the
UK in apparent attempts to sow divisions. 

“Our threat intelligence team first detected this activity
one week ago. Given the elections, we took action as soon as we’d
completed our initial investigation and shared the information
with US and UK government officials, US law enforcement,
Congress, other technology companies and the
Atlantic
Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab,” Facebook’s head of
cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher wrote in a blog
post. “However, it’s still early days and while we
have found no ties to the Iranian government, we can’t say for
sure who is responsible.”

The news comes after Facebook said it had disrupted an
earlier Iranian influence campaign in August 2018. There is “some
overlap” between the two efforts.

This story is developing…

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