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Facebook removes accounts for political intervention

Aug. 1, 2018 11:29 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2018 10:33 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Facebook social networking platform announced on Tuesday that it had removed 32 accounts and pages from both Facebook and Instagram, in order to combat foreign intervention in the midterm 2018 US congressional elections and the 2020 US presidential elections.

According to the social media giant, it uncovered "sophisticated" efforts of meddling with US policies and as a result removed the 32 fake accounts and pages.

US lawmakers called these social media attempts "a threat to democracy."

Although Facebook denied identifying the owners of the fake accounts and pages, the company revealed it was most likely associated with Russia, referring to alleged Russian attempts on social media platforms, tampering with the 2016 U.S. elections by posting and buying advertisments.

In response to the accusation, Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Facebook labeled this move as a coordinated political influence campaign and explained that "this kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don't want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they're doing."

The company confirmed that the removed pages had created 30 events since May 2017, as well as more than 290,000 accounts were following at least one of the removed pages and that about $11,000 had been spent on more than 150 advertisement.

Some of the revealed deleted pages include Aztlan Warriors, Resisters, and Black Elevation.

The company identifies this influential activity as foreign manipulation of U.S. policies and as political misinformation through fake accounts and pages.

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