Facebook Excluded Over 200 IRA-controlled Accounts

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Facebook excluded over 200 IRA-controlled accounts and pages associated with Russian trolls that had aimed at exploiting the outcome of the 2016 US presidential elections.

The world’s most popular social media network announced on Tuesday that it takes down dozens of Russian accounts operated by a Russian organization called the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

The company’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos unveiled that the Facebook has banned 70 Facebook and 138 Facebook pages as well as 65 Instagram accounts all of them controlled by the IRA.

Stamos said that 95 percent of the removed accounts were in Russian which targeted at Russians or Russian speakers in nearby countries like Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan.

Over one million Facebook users followed at least one of the pages that Facebook took down and 493,000 Instagram users followed at least one of the now removed accounts.

Earlier this year, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for interfering in the U.S. of operating Russian troll farms and Eastern European and executing “information warfare against the U.S.”

In a blog post, the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “Most of our actions against the IRA to date have been to prevent them from interfering in foreign elections. This update is about taking down their pages targeting people living in Russia.”

Mark Zuckerberg added, “This Russian agency has repeatedly acted deceptively and tried to manipulate people in the US, Europe, and Russia — and we don’t want them on Facebook anywhere in the world.”