On Tuesday, Social Media giant, Facebook Inc. said that it had removed over 200 accounts and pages that were suspiciously connected to Russian trolls which apparently influenced the United States politics during the 2016 election campaign.
Alex Stamos, the Chief Security Officer in Facebook, said that until now the company has discontinued around 65 Instagram accounts as well as 70 Facebook accounts.
Adding further, he confirmed that Facebook has also removed more than 138 pages which were connected to IRA or Internet Research Agency.
IRA is a Russian based troll farm whose higher management has been accused by the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Facebook confirmed that 95 percent of the accounts removed from Facebook were in Russian locations.
These accounts targeted Russian speakers in neighboring countries such as Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan. Facebook also revealed that there are approximately 1 million users following these pages that were deleted.
According to official figures provided by the social media company, these pages spend around $167,000 in advertising since January 1, 2015.
CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said that the company took severe action against these pages and accounts. Further, they were focused on domestic political influence.
In a statement, Mr. Zuckerberg added that Facebook doesn’t want to support groups that influence foreign politics.
Senator, Mark Warner, praised Facebook and said that the company should continue to take such actions in the future. Today’s move by Facebook proves that the IRA associated accounts exploit platforms such as Facebook to create division and spread fake news.
Accounts and pages that are made by the troll farm spread misinformation’s and engage in creating false campaigns against governments.
Since last year, Facebook had faced severe criticism from the general public after it publicized the Russian troll farm with $100,000 in an advertisement spend. The social media giant has now taken corrective action and gained public support for its current measures.