Further Fake Account Crackdown
We all know that social media can have drastic effects on voter turnout and sometimes even sway public opinion. A new report was released by Facebook and Twitter that has said that thousands and thousands of accounts that were tied to Iran and Russia were banned from their platforms right before the 2018 midterms.
The Twitter accounts posted spammy tweets thousands of times a day, and it was said that the accounts seemed to be state-backed campaigns. Many of the tweets were encouraging US citizens not to cast their ballots. Twitter’s director of public policy stated “In contrast to 2016, we identified much less platform manipulation from bad-faith actors located abroad. That said, as part of our ongoing review we found limited operations that have the potential to be connected to sources within Iran, Venezuela, and Russia.”
Very similarly, Facebook recently put out the report that they banned around 800 pages from their platform. They said that the majority of the pages were created in Iran and all were very interconnected operations. Facebook stated these accounts “used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.” In addition to the Facebook pages, 162 accounts were created on Instagram with similar intentions. Although these numbers seem relatively small, they amassed large followings. The Facebook pages gained around 2 million followers while the Instagram accounts gained 254,000.
Both Facebook and Twitter have come out and said that every day they are cracking down harder and harder on fake accounts and platform manipulation.