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Facebook Blocks Accounts Engaged in Malicious Activities

On November 4, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tipped Facebook off about online activity that they believed was linked to foreign entities

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Facebook
Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

The Facebook crackdown on accounts engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” on its platform and on Instagram continues.

“Combined with our takedown last Monday, we have removed 36 Facebook accounts, six Pages and 99 Instagram accounts for coordinated inauthentic behaviour,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy, said in a blog post on Wednesday.

These accounts were mostly created after mid-2017, apart from a few outliers.

“We found a total of about 1.25 million people followed at least one of these Instagram accounts, with over 600,000 of them located in the US,” Gleicher added.

On November 5, Facebook blocked 30 accounts on its platform and 85 accounts on Instagram.

“We found a total of about 65,000 followers of at least one of the Facebook Pages, which contained posts almost exclusively in French. About 60 followers were located in the US,” said Facebook.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

There was about $4,500 in ad spend from these Pages, and none of the ads ran in the US.

“We didn’t find any ad spend on Instagram, and these accounts seem to have mostly been in English,” the social networking giant added.

On November 6, a website claiming to be associated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russia-based troll farm, published a list of Instagram accounts they said that they had created.

“We had already blocked most of them, and based on our internal investigation, we blocked the rest,” said Gleicher.

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On November 4, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tipped Facebook off about online activity that they believed was linked to foreign entities.

“Based on this tip off, we quickly identified a set of accounts that appeared to be engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour,” said the company. (IANS)

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Facebook Tracking Location Data of Users Who Threaten its Employees

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services.

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Facebook
Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties. Pixabay

Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties, the media reported.

According to a report in CNBC on Thursday, the tracking of users begins when the Facebook security team finds they are making “credible threats on its social network”.

The tracking is done by using location data taken from the user’s Facebook app or an IP address collected by the social network when a user is active on Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, facebook
Facebook CEO receives threatening comments from users.

The locations of users are only accessible after they were placed on a ‘Be On the Lookout’ (BOLO) list after their threats are deemed credible. The list is updated nearly once a week.

“The company mines its social network for threatening comments, and in some cases uses its products to track the location of people it believes present a credible threat,” said the report.

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. “That means that if just 0.01 per cent of users make a threat, Facebook is still dealing with 270,000 potential security risks, the report added.

Users who publicly threaten the company — including posting threatening comments to company executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are added to the list.

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Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. Pixabay

“Our physical security team exists to keep employees safe,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

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“We have strict processes designed to protect people’s privacy and adhere to all data privacy laws and Facebook’s terms of service. Any suggestion our onsite physical security team has overstepped is absolutely false,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Depending on the threat, Facebook’s security teams can take other actions, such as stationing security guards, escorting a BOLO user off campus or alerting law enforcement. (IANS)