By Alex Heath
Questions still linger over who was behind the coordinated misinformation campaign on Facebook ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.
“Facebook does not want to make an attribution yet,” Kevin Roose of The New York Times told Cheddar on Wednesday. “They have not definitively said this is Russia or this isn’t Russia.”
On Tuesday, Facebook disclosed that it had removed 32 accounts and pages that were involved in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” The accounts organized real-world events around hot-button issues, like a sequel to last year’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. One of the pages, called "Resisters,” created a Facebook event for a protest in Washington that was scheduled to take place next week.
“Facebook is clearly taking the threat of foreign-led disinformation campaigns very seriously,” Theresa Payton, former White House CIO under President George W. Bush, told Cheddar on Wednesday. “Russian operatives and other operatives around the globe that want to meddle in elections have been changing their tactics to learn how to hide in plain site. This is just a drill, what’s going on going into the midterm elections.”
Facebook says that it’s in the early stage of investigating who is behind the coordinated effort. The social network recently began notifying members of the Justice Department and says it has been working with the FBI to investigate the activity.
Meanwhile, Facebook continues to deal with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exposed the data of millions of Facebook users. The company said on Tuesday that it had cut off access to “hundreds of thousands of inactive apps that have not submitted for our app review process.”
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