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Tech News - August 24, 2018

Facebook cracks down on over 600 accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior

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Facebook has announced the ban of more than 600 accounts on the platform due to their coordinated inauthentic behavior. These included multiple pages, groups and also accounts both on Instagram and Facebook. Facebook in a press statement on their bog said that the pages and accounts were linked to Russia and Iran. The accounts in question were majorly targeting individuals in the UK, Middle East, Latin America and the US.

FireEye, a Cyber Security firm, in July, had tipped Facebook about a group named “Liberty Front Press” which managed coordinated Facebook pages and accounts on the platform. Liberty Front Press is said to have started Facebook pages back in 2013 which were run by similar admins across the network. The group focused on pushing political propaganda to the US, Latin America, Middle East and the UK in the beginning but from 2017 they shifted the focus to the UK and The US. The pages have been trying to hide their true identity and posed as news and civil society organizations to the public.

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The accounts are said to have been coordinating “to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.” Facebook wants to win the trustworthy score when it comes to fake accounts and propaganda. The Liberty Front Press group owned 74 Pages, 70 accounts, and three groups on Facebook, as well as 76 accounts on Instagram. More they had over 155,000 followers on Instagram, and they even have held three events.

The group is said to have been under heavy funding with over $6000 spent on Ads between January 2015 and August this year. Facebook has stated that it’s an ongoing challenge because the people responsible are determined and well-funded. We constantly have to improve to stay ahead.” Moreover, they hope to build better technology to handle abuse in the future.

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