While the United States is well aware of Russia’s attempts to influence it’s elections, that does not mean the country has stopped trying. The Kremlin has continued to focus on one of its best means to push propaganda: Facebook.
Instagram, also owned by Facebook was targeted as well. The Instagram pages were specifically tailored towards topics Americans would be interested in, such as celebrities and politics.
Facebook notes they were tipped off by the government. Facebook’s Nathaniel Gleicher says, “U.S. law enforcement contacted us about online activity that they recently discovered and which they believe may be linked to foreign entities.”
Facebook is commonly criticized for its late response in removing questionable pages. The site remains a breeding ground for political organizations that mean to sow discord in elections.
Gleicher wrote of the removal, “given that we are only one day away from important elections in the U.S., we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today.”
While Facebook has removed these pages, the fact that they were able to stay up until the night before the US midterm elections means that they likely have already served their purpose. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has promised to help clean the website up from foreign actors.
Back in August, the website removed 650 pages that the site believed were tied to Russian or Iranian accounts. These pages were set up to mislead users in the United States.
The site has also worked to remove the pages of organizations that are seen as racist or violent. They removed the pages of the Proud Boys after the group committed acts of violence in New York last month.
While the company has made a concerted effort to better monitor the site, they are still not doing enough.