Russian intelligence agents tried to spy on French President Emmanuel Macron's election campaign earlier this year by creating phony Facebook personas, according to a US Congressman and two other people briefed on the effort. This was reported by Reuters with the reference to sources.
“About two dozen Facebook accounts were created to conduct surveillance on Macron campaign officials and others close to the centrist former financier as he sought to defeat far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and other opponents in the two-round election... Macron won in a landslide in May,” the agency reported.
Facebook confirmed to Reuters that it had detected spying accounts in France and deactivated them. It credited a combination of improved automated detection and stepped-up human efforts to find sophisticated attacks.
Company officials briefed congressional committee members and staff, among others, about their findings. People involved in the conversations also said the number of Facebook accounts suspended in France for promoting propaganda or spam - much of it related to the election - had climbed to 70,000, a big jump from the 30,000 account closures the company disclosed in April.
As it was reported earlier Emmanuel Macron won French elections with 65% of votes. Representative of the ultra-right Marine Le Pen gathered 34% of the votes.