Over 600,000 Americans followed fake Russia-linked Instagram accounts that were detected days before the midterms (FB)



  • Over 600,000 Americans followed Instagram accounts that are now believed to be run by Russian trolls.
  • Facebook, Instagram's parent company, deleted them just days before the 2018 midterms.
  • The action came after the company was tipped off by the FBI.

Over 600,000 Americans followed a series of fake Instagram and Facebook accounts suspected to be linked to Russia that were detected and removed just days before the 2018 midterms.

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On November 5 — the eve of the contentious midterm elections that saw Democrats take control of the House of Representatives — Facebook announced it had been informed by the FBI about "online activity that they belied was linked to foreign entities," and subsequently took down dozens of accounts and pages.

In an update on Tuesday, Facebook said it has now taken down 99 Instagram accounts, 36 Facebook accounts, and 6 Facebook Pages. 1.25 million Facebook users followed at least one of the Instagram accounts — and 600,000 of these users were in the United States.

Like previous influence campaigns, the various accounts and pages posted politically divisive content, from both left-wing and right-wing perspectives, according to samples provided by Facebook

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posted Wednesday, November 14, 2018


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