Facebook and Twitter just took down hundreds of fake accounts from Iran and elsewhere that were trying to influence politics

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Facebook and Twitter have both announced takedowns of hundreds of fake accounts designed to influence politics around the world.
  • Facebook detected accounts from Iran dating back to 2010, while Twitter’s came from Iran, Venezuela, and Russia.

Facebook and Twitter have taken down hundreds of fake accounts designed to influence politics and public debate, the two social networks announced on Thursday.

Facebook took down 783 accounts linked to Iran that targeted countries ranging from Afghanistan to France, Germany, Israel, Morocco, South Africa and the US.

Twitter, meanwhile took down accounts linked to Iran, Venezuela, and Russia, it said, that were active during the US 2018 midterm elections. According to The Washington Post, 418 and were from Russia, 764 were from Venezuela.

“This morning we removed 783 Pages, groups and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour tied to Iran. There were multiple sets of activity, each localised for a specific country or region,” Facebook cybersecurity exec Nathaniel Gleicher wrote in a blog post.

“The Page administrators and account owners typically represented themselves as locals, often using fake accounts, and posted news stories on current events. This included commentary that repurposed Iranian state media’s reporting on topics like Israel-Palestine relations and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, including the role of the US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

“Some of the activity dates back to 2010. Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our manual review linked these accounts to Iran.”

This story is developing…

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.