In the months following the election of President Donald J. Trump, many have been on high alert regarding the possibility of foreign political interference. Much of this paranoia has been targeted towards the idea that Russian officials may have greatly influenced the 2016 election of President Trump. There is a popular belief that Russian officials may have influence the election via social media. Given the information that has been presented thus far, there is a growing belief that there has been an effort by overseas parties to influence the beliefs and perspectives of social media users in the United States and beyond. Last month, Facebook revealed that they had removed over thirty pages on Facebook and Instagram that had coordinated a “political influence campaign”. Today, Facebook revealed that it has taken further steps to eliminate foreign campaigns to influence users on their platform.
Facebook has announced that it has removed over 600 groups, pages and accounts that were attempting to influence users in multiple countries, including the United States. In a blog post published by Facebook, the tech company said, “Today we removed multiple Pages, groups and accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram. Some of this activity originated in Iran, and some originated in Russia. These were distinct campaigns and we have not identified any link or coordination between them.”
The blog post also went on to state, “We ban this kind of behavior because we want people to be able to trust the connections they make on Facebook. And while we’re making progress rooting out this abuse, as we’ve said before, it’s an ongoing challenge because the people responsible are determined and well funded. We constantly have to improve to stay ahead.”
The tech giant will continue to monitor the situation and update users as the situation develops.