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Facebook shuts down accounts owned by Russia-based IRA

The social network later suspended Cambridge Analytica for violating its policies and commitments. Cambridge Analytica received user data from a Facebook app

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Facebook was accused of leaking data to Cambridge Analytica earlier this year.
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Facebook has removed several accounts owned by Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), the group accused of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

“We removed 70 Facebook and 65 Instagram accounts — as well as 138 Facebook Pages — that were controlled by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer at Facebook, said in a blog post late on Tuesday.

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Facebook also removed Cambridge Analytica. Pixabay

Many of the Pages also ran ads, all of which have been removed. “Of the Pages that had content, the vast majority of them (95 per cent) were in Russian — targeted either at people living in Russia or Russian-speakers around the world including from neighbouring countries like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine,” Stamos said, who is reportedly planning to leave the company by August.

The IRA has repeatedly used complex networks of inauthentic accounts to deceive and manipulate people who use Facebook, including before, during and after the 2016 US presidential elections. “We removed this latest set of Pages and accounts solely because they were controlled by the IRA — not based on the content,” said Stamos.

Also Read: Aircel, Jio, or Facebook: Will the Giants be Accountable?

This included commentary on domestic and international political issues, the promotion of Russian culture and tourism as well as debate on more everyday issues. The US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team is investigating into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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Facebook users’ data is still out in the open unsafe. VOA

Facebook is also facing a backlash as a political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica that worked with Donald Trump’s election team allegedly harvested 50 million Facebook profiles of US voters to influence their choices at the ballot box.

The social network later suspended Cambridge Analytica for violating its policies and commitments. Cambridge Analytica received user data from a Facebook app years ago that purported to be a psychological research tool, though the firm was not authorised to have that information. IANS

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Meeting Between Members of European Parliament and Mark Zuckerberg to be Web Streamed

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Tajani had requested that Zuckerberg appear in front of members of the European Parliament in person in order to address the issue.
European Parliament members and Facebook CEO's meeting will be live streamed. Wikimedia commons

A meeting between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and members of the European Parliament (EP) over the social network’s use of personal data will be webstreamed, the Parliament’s President said on Monday.

The meeting, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, would be streamed over the Internet after Zuckerberg agreed to it, EP President Antonio Tajani said on Twitter.

“I am glad to announce that he has accepted this new request. Great news for EU citizens… I thank him for the respect shown towards EP,” Tajani said.

The meeting would take place a month-and-a-half after Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress over an alleged massive personal data leak to UK-based firm Cambridge Analytica.

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Tajani had requested that Zuckerberg appear in front of members of the European Parliament in person in order to address the issue.

“We are convinced that the millions of Europeans affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal deserve a full and thorough explanation from Facebook’s top manager, just as was the case for US citizens,” Tajani penned in a letter to Zuckerberg in April. (IANS)

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