October 21, 2019

Russia's back in the election interference game.

Facebook has uncovered one Russian attempt and three Iranian attempts to spread disinformation in the U.S., North Africa, and Latin America, the site said in a Monday blog post. Facebook removed those "inauthentic" networks Monday morning, it said, and is ramping up its security efforts as the 2020 presidential election heats up as well.

Ever since the 2016 presidential election was marked by several foreign attempts to influence its outcome, Facebook says it has worked to "identify new and emerging threats and remove coordinated inauthentic behavior across our apps." Facebook took down more than 50 of those inauthentic networks of pages, groups, and accounts so far this year, removing four just Monday morning. Those latest Iran- and Russia-based attempts were discovered while Facebook investigated "suspected Iran-linked inauthentic behavior," along with "ongoing proactive work," per Facebook's blog post.

To keep the crackdowns coming, Facebook says it's launching a feature called Facebook Protect "to further secure the accounts of elected officials, candidates, their staff," and others who may be vulnerable to hacking. Facebook Protect will push users in a campaign's network to enable two-factor authentication and Facebook will monitor all those accounts more closely for hacking. Facebook is also planning to increase the amount of publicly available information on who's running its pages, will label posts from state-controlled media, and will update its political ad tracker with special presidential race features. Find all of Facebook's new moves here. Kathryn Krawczyk

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