Facebook took down 141 accounts following FBI tip
Facebook said that last week's account takedown's were a "good example" of how the company has worked closely with government, the security community and other tech companies. "On November 4, the FBI tipped us off about online activity that they believed was linked to foreign entities," the social media giant said. "Based on this tip, we quickly identified a set of accounts that appeared to be engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior, which is banned on Facebook because we want people to be able to trust the connections they make on our services. So we immediately blocked these accounts, and given the timing just before the US midterm elections, publicly announced what we found and the action we were taking. We also shared that information with the government and other companies to help them with their own investigations." Combined with its takedown last Monday, in total Facebook has removed 36 Facebook accounts, 6 Pages, and 99 Instagram accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior. These accounts were mostly created after mid-2017, apart from a few outliers. The company found a total of about 1.25M followers of at least one of these Instagram accounts, with just over 600,000 located in the US. By comparison, the recent set of accounts that it removed which originated from Iran had around 1M followers. The company didn't find any Facebook events. Facebook found a total of about 65,000 followers of at least one of the Facebook Pages, which contained posts almost exclusively in French. About 60 followers were located in the US. There was about $4,500 in ad spend from these Pages, and none of the ads ran in the US. Facebook said it didn't find any ad spend on Instagram, and these accounts seem to have mostly been in English. "Ultimately, this effort may have been connected to the IRA, but we aren't best placed to say definitively whether that is the case," Facebook added. "As multiple independent experts have pointed out, trolls have an incentive to claim that their activities are more widespread and influential than may be the case. That appears to be true here as well."