Kremlin-Backed Trolls Tried to Influence Voters Ahead of Midterms: Facebook

Facebook announced Tuesday that it removed over 100 Facebook and Instagram accounts the day before the midterm elections “due to concerns that they were linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency,” according to a Wednesday report from The New York Times. The platform spotted the trolls, whom they linked but did not explicitly connect to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, after receiving a tip from a law-enforcement agency on Sunday. The Times notes that the Facebook accounts primarily communicated in French and Russian, and the Instagram accounts primarily used English.

“This is a timely reminder that these bad actors won’t give up—and why it’s so important we work with the U.S. government and other technology companies to stay ahead,” said Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy. In a joint statement with the FBI, the platform also reiterated its commitment to protecting users from influence campaigns. “Americans should be aware that foreign actors—and Russia in particular—continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions,” the statement said. “The United States will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from Russia, China, Iran or other nations.”