Facebook Inc said on Monday it has suspended a network of Instagram accounts operated from Russia that targeted Americans with divisive political messages ahead of next year’s U.S. presidential election, with operators posing as people within the United States
The networks comprised pages and groups on Facebook and Instagram that were “engaging in inauthentic behavior” regarding elections. They were targeting the U.S., North Africa and Latin America. Three of the networks were Iranian, while one was Russian.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the Russian network had the “hallmarks of a well-resourced operation” with potential links to the Russian Internet Research Agency, a group that carried out interference campaigns during the 2016 U.S. elections.
Facebook also announced new steps to fight foreign interference and misinformation ahead of the November 2020 election, including labeling state-controlled media outlets and adding greater protections for elected officials and candidates who may be vulnerable targets for hacking