Facebook Uncovers New Political Influence Campaign Ahead of Midterms

Facebook has uncovered a “coordinated political influence campaign” ahead of November’s midterm elections, The New York Times reports. The social platform has reportedly uncovered “dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages,” centered around the second “Unite the Right” rally and the “#AbolishICE” movement on social media. In a letter published Tuesday, the company announced that it has “removed” 32 Facebook and Instagram accounts due to “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Facebook also disclosed that a page supporting a counter-protest to the “Unite the Right 2” rally recruited real activists who “unwittingly helped build interest in the event.” Facebook has not definitively tied the pages to Russia or Russian organizations, but said it “found evidence of some connections between these accounts” and the accounts used to interfere in the 2016 election. The social network also revealed in its letter that the accounts behind some of the removed pages spent $11,000 buying 150 ads, paid in U.S. or Canadian dollars. The company is also reportedly working with the FBI on the matter, and has been beefing up its security team ahead of the November elections by “recruiting workers with government security clearances.”