Facebook uncovered “sophisticated” efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to influence American politics in advance of the U.S. midterm elections.
The company said in a blog post that it removed 32 accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in “coordinated” political behavior and appeared to be fake.
Facebook did not explicitly say that the effort was aimed at influencing the midterm elections in November, but the timing of the suspicious activity would be consistent with such an attempt.
The company, which said it is in the early stages of its investigation, held briefings in the House and Senate this week.
The company said it doesn’t know who is behind the efforts, but said there may be connections to Russia. Facebook said it has found some connections between the accounts it removed and the accounts connected to Russia’s Internet Research Agency that it removed before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., who introduced the Honest Ads Act earlier this year to help prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections, praised Facebook’s elections.
“Today’s disclosure is further evidence that the Kremlin continues to exploit platforms like Facebook to sow division and spread disinformation, and I am glad that Facebook is taking some steps to pinpoint and address this activity,” Warner said in a statement to Fox News.
“I also expect Facebook, along with other platform companies, will continue to identify Russian troll activity and to work with Congress on updating our laws to better protect our democracy in the future,” he continued.
“It’s clear that whoever set up these accounts…