Facebook removes 364 pages linked to Russian news agency

Facebook has removed 364 pages and accounts linked to employees of Russian news agency Sputnik from its platform.

The social network’s head of cyber security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a blog post it had uncovered two separate operations which originated in Russia, with one active in multiple countries in eastern Europe and the other specific to Ukraine.
The pages and accounts were run by the first Russian network and operated in Baltic Sea states, central Asia, the Caucasus and central and eastern Europe.
Based on a tip from US law enforcement, Facebook said it had separately removed 107 pages, groups and accounts and 41 Instagram accounts that originated in Russia and operated in Ukraine.
In a statement, it said: “We didn’t find any links between these operations, but they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.”
Facebook has faced strong criticism in the last two years for the slow rate of development in tools to combat extremist content and propaganda on its platforms.
It and rival social media site Twitter took down millions of posts and closed accounts linked to influence operations by Russia, Iran and other nations in the run-up to the US mid-term elections in November last year.
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