Facebook Hits Fake News Linked to Russia, Sputnik

Site shutters hundreds of accounts engaged in 'coordinated inauthentic behavior'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 17, 2019 8:40 AM CST
Facebook Hits Fake News Linked to Russia, Sputnik
This Nov. 1, 2017 file photo shows prints of Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process.   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

Facebook says it has removed hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups, and accounts that were part of two big disinformation operations, in its latest effort to fight fake news. The social media company said Thursday it took action after finding two networks "that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior" on its Facebook and Instagram platforms, reports the AP. Head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in a blog post that one network operated in countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the other focused on Ukraine.

The people running the accounts represented themselves as independent news sources and posted on topics like anti-NATO sentiment and protest movements. Gleicher says one network of 364 pages and accounts was linked to employees of Sputnik, a Russian state-run English-language news site, which did not return requests for comment. "We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people," he adds in the post. (Facebook's reputation needs help.)

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