Facebook says that the 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts it blocked yesterday for “inauthentic behavior” appear to originate from Russia. A site that claims to be associated with the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) later posted a list of fake Instagram accounts it made before the US midterm elections, which included many that were removed by Facebook yesterday and others that the company has now blocked.
The IRA was previously linked to interfering with the 2016 presidential election. In April, Facebook suspended 70 Facebook accounts, 138 pages, and 65 Instagram accounts that were controlled by the IRA, following a months-long investigation.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook said, “We had already blocked most of these accounts yesterday, and have now blocked the rest. This is a timely reminder that these bad actors won’t give up — and why it’s so important we work with the US government and other technology companies to stay ahead.” We’ve reached out to Facebook for more information.
Yesterday, Facebook said it was still investigating the accounts and was releasing the news early, given how close the election results were to being announced. It’s still unclear if these fake accounts performed any political interference.