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Home / World / Facebook suspends "improper" Iranian accounts that criticize Trump and spread divisive political messages

Facebook announced Friday that it has 82 pages, groups and accounts that operate from Iran for "coordinated inauthentic behavior" and share political separation messages, including opposition to President Trump.

The accounts – some of which were also removed from Facebook's Instagram photo-sharing site – seem to have no clear links with the Iranian government, "said Facebook, but the company could not say with any certainty who was behind them. More than 1 million Facebook users followed at least one of the sites that removed the company, and tens of thousands of users joined one of the groups created by users in Iran.

Shared one of the inauthentic accounts called Wake Up America Pictures that criticized Trump, calling him "the worst and most hated president." Another posed on judges of the Supreme Court Brett M. Kavanaugh and former quarterback of the Colombian Football League Colin Kaepernick.In many cases, the Iranian accounts turned out to be US or US British Citizens Misrepresent.

The announcement – two weeks before the US 2018 election – shows that evil Some actors, possibly foreign governments, continue to use social media to promote their favorite political narratives and sow social unrest online.

Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook, said the company could "fail to appreciate the motivations of these bad actors." But he described it as an example of "smart, well-funded opponents who will never give up and constantly change tactics."

Better technology and thousands of new employees have helped make social media sites propaganda and other problematic content Finding and removing faster, along with a barrage of counterfeit accounts. But experts say that they face a scourge of disinformation that has become more global and sophisticated over time since they discovered that Russian activists have fueled tensions on the Internet in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Supreme Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, "The Russian textbook is open, and more bad actors will exploit it, social media companies need to be more active, and Congress needs some Set up guardrails so that disinformation and misinformation on these platforms can not thrive so well. "

The takedowns are Facebook's second action targets accounts with ties to Iran. In August, the social networking giant removed hundreds of profiles and pages on Facebook and Instagram. In this case, however, Facebook explicitly linked some of these accounts to the Iranian state media. These accounts had posted content, created events, and bought ads that at times reminded political messages to the Iranian government.

Other technical giants, including Twitter and Google's own YouTube, took steps in August to remove Iranian-connected accounts. On Twitter, these Iran-linked accounts published more than 1 million tweets – and often masqueraded as foreign journalists and US citizens to reinforce messages on regional policy issues, according to an analysis by the Atlantic Council's Forensic Research Lab


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