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Kremlin accuses Facebook of censorship after 'troll farm' pages are removed

The Kremlin is not pleased with Facebook.

A spokesman cried foul on Facebook's decision to delete hundreds of accounts and pages associated with a Russian "troll farm," calling the move akin to censorship, Reuters reported Thursday. The social media giant announced this week that it had removed more than 200 pages, accounts, and ads that were run by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, a company that was indicted for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

A reporter asked Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov whether the move was a hostile one and whether it amounted to censorship against Moscow. "Yes, it is," responded Peskov. "We are of course following this and we regret it."

Facebook said that it deleted pages because they were controlled by the IRA, not because of any particular content that the pages contained. "The IRA has repeatedly used complex networks of inauthentic accounts to deceive and manipulate people," Facebook wrote in a blog post.

Another Russian news outlet, the Federal News Agency, reportedly also had pages removed from Facebook. NPR reports that the outlet said its content had been taken down "for no reason." Russia's Federal News Agency is associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman who was indicted last month for interfering in the 2016 election. Read more at NPR.