Facebook and Twitter Removed Accounts and Pages Related to Iran and Russia

Facebook and Twitter Removed Accounts and Pages Related to Iran and Russia

Technology

On Thursday, Facebook announced that it removed about 783 pages, groups, and accounts with the connection to Iran. The company said it took the step because the accounts were part of a vast manipulation campaign in more than 20 counties. Facebook said the pages were part of a campaign to boost Iranian interests in different nations. Thus, the social media giant stepped forward to fight against fake news on their platforms. The company said the pages had about 2 million followers. The accounts spent less than $30,000 to display ads on the social media platform. The fake accounts and pages also presented eight backdated events, with the date May 2014.

As per Facebook, intruders mainly designed the misinformation campaigns to exploit divisions and spread confusion in targeted countries. Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook, said, the company can prove that it is content emerging from Iran. Most of the material is reposted from Iran state media. But Gleicher said they could not blame someone directly in this case. Facebook is continuously working to identify and stop the malicious activity of the social media platform. The company says it does not want people to use Facebook to manipulate people. Gleicher also noted that the social network discovered the problem activity in part after Twitter announced about the discovery of Iran-linked accounts.

On the other hand, Twitter removed thousands of pages and accounts sourcing to Iran. The pages and accounts were created to influence politics and public mind in foreign countries. Twitter said it axed the accounts for circulating wrong information on the social network. Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head, stated the company would continue to work with other organizations to reveal and better understand malicious activity. Thus, the elimination is a result of a larger push by Facebook and Twitter to find and remove malicious news. Twitter said it removed 418 accounts sourcing from Russia, 764 accounts sourcing in Venezuela, and 2,600 from Iran.

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