Facebook shuts down suspicious accounts

Facebook announced Tuesday that it has shut down 32 accounts and pages that it says were involved in a targeted disinformation campaign in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections.

Top executives pledge to be more vigilant this time around. Facebook has so far removed eight pages, 17 profiles, and seven Instagram accounts for violating its ban on “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” More than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the pages, which had collectively already published 9,500 posts since the earliest page’s creation in March 2017.

Facebook said the pages also paid in total around $11,000 to run 150 ads ― purchasing them through a third party in an attempt to hide their identity.

“We’re still in the very early stages of our investigation and don’t have all the facts — including who may be behind this,” the company said in an announcement. “But we are sharing what we know today given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington next week.”

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company decided to take action Tuesday, ahead of a protest that an “inauthentic” page called the “Resisters” was helping organize over the Aug. 10 weekend in Washington, D.C.

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