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Facebook blocks Russian Instagram accounts created to interfere in U.S. elections

The network, affiliated with the Russian Internet Research Agency, which had 246,000 subscribers, used 50 Instagram accounts and one Facebook account
09:57, 22 October 2019

Open source

Facebook Inc. suspended a network of Instagram accounts managed by Russia that was created to influence the U.S. presidential election in 2020, Reuters reports.

"The online research agency's network used 50 Instagram accounts and one Facebook account and had 246,000 subscribers, about 60% of which were in the United States," said Nathan Gleicher, head of Facebook's cybersecurity policy.

According to him, the creation of accounts was mainly focused on political debate in the United States, as well as acute political issues that cause public debate and controversy. The accounts contained material that could appeal to both Republicans and Democrats.

Related: Operation Information: How Moscow might interfere in European elections

Blocked accounts revealed some connection with the Russian Internet Research Agency, an organization that Washington claims to be used by Moscow in order to interfere in the 2016 US election.

Facebook has also suspended the operation of three separate networks from Iran.

US security officials warn that Russia, Iran, and other countries may try to influence next year's presidential election. Officials say they are on high alert for the influence of foreign campaigns on social networks.

Related: US used sanctions against sponsor of Russian “troll factory” due to interference in 2018 midterm elections

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