Facebook said Monday it was tightening its security for the 2020 US elections, amid signs of fresh activity from Russia attacking Democratic presidential candidates, including Joe Biden.
The leading social network said it was taking down more accounts for “inauthentic” activity and stepping up scrutiny of “state controlled” media seeking to manipulate American voters.
As Facebook unveiled its latest steps, an analysis of activity on the social platform released by the analytics firm Graphika showed accounts originating from Russia taking aim at US political candidates and issues.
“Multiple accounts praised (Democratic hopeful) Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump,” the Graphika report said.
“Accounts from both sides of the political spectrum attacked Joe Biden; some also attacked Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Almost half the accounts claimed to be based in ‘swing states,’ especially Florida.”
The report said these accounts reused messages from the Internet Research Agency which targeted US audiences in the 2016 presidential election and that “Facebook’s own analysis ... showed some links to the IRA.”
One of the new steps announced by Facebook calls for labeling of messages coming from state-controlled media outlets, starting next month.