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Social Networking Giant Facebook Removes 5 Accounts Linked to Alabama Senate Election

But, according to a person in the know of things, one of the accounts removed belonged to Jonathon Morgan, a prominent social media research and CEO of New Knowledge

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Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

Facebook has said that it has removed five accounts of Americans who used its platform improperly in the hard-fought Alabama Senate election of 2017.

Facebook has shut down “five accounts run by multiple individuals for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour on Facebook around the Alabama special election, and our investigation is ongoing,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.

The company acted in response to media reports that a small group of social media experts had secretly used deceptive tactics in the Alabama election that were explicitly modelled on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

The group sought to split the conservative vote to undermine the Republican candidate, Roy S. Moore, and to boost support for the Democrat, Doug Jones, who won by a small margin.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Morgan has said the operation was an experiment to learn more about the kinds of methods Russia had used, and not to influence the outcome of the election.

The social networking site did not name those whose accounts were closed, and it was not immediately possible to identify the others, The New York Times reported.

Also Read- Apple Removes App Portraying Homosexuality As “Sin”

But, according to a person in the know of things, one of the accounts removed belonged to Jonathon Morgan, a prominent social media research and CEO of New Knowledge.

“We take a strong stand against people or organisations that create networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing,” the statement said. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Media Giant Facebook Sues Chinese Company Over Alleged ad Fraud

According to a report in CNET, Facebook said it has paid more than $4 million in reimbursements to victims of these hacks

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An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

Facebook has sued a Chinese company for allegedly tricking people into installing a malware, compromising peoples accounts and then using them to run deceptive ads.

Facebook blamed ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd. and two individuals associated with the company — Chen Xiao Cong and Huang Tao – for the fraud.

The defendants deceived people into installing malware available on the Internet. This malware then enabled the defendants to compromise people’s Facebook accounts and run deceptive ads promoting items such as counterfeit goods and diet pills, the social media giant said in a blog post.

The defendants sometimes used images of celebrities in their ads to entice people to click on them, a practice known as “celeb bait”, according to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

In some instances, the defendants also engaged in a practice known as cloaking, Facebook said.

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The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

“Through cloaking, the defendants deliberately disguised the true destination of the link in the ad by displaying one version of an ad’s landing page to Facebook’s systems and a different version to Facebook users,” said Facebook’s Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation and Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management, Business Integrity.

Cloaking schemes are often sophisticated and well organised, making the individuals and organisations behind them difficult to identify and hold accountable.

Also Read: New Account of Twitter named @TwitterRetweets to Highlight Best Tweets

As a result, there have not been many legal actions of this kind.

“In this case, we have refunded victims whose accounts were used to run unauthorised ads and helped them to secure their accounts,” they wrote.

According to a report in CNET, Facebook said it has paid more than $4 million in reimbursements to victims of these hacks. (IANS)