March 26, 2019 / 8:36 AM / 5 months ago

Facebook removes accounts from Russia, Iran for 'coordinated inauthentic behavior'

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it has removed more accounts from Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo, citing what it described as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

A total of 2,632 pages, groups, and accounts were removed from Facebook and Instagram for operations linked to the above mentioned countries, the social media platform said.

513 of those accounts were tied to Iran, while 1,907 were linked to Russia, Facebook said.

The accounts tied to Russia were largely removed for spam with a small portion of those engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior, according to the statement.

Facebook also said the pages and accounts were removed for their behavior and not content.

The social media platform has recently been cracking down on such accounts in many countries after coming under fire in the last two years for its self-admitted sluggishness in developing tools to combat extremist content and propaganda operations.

The company had also removed certain accounts tied to Iran earlier in January.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Bhanu Pratap in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Shreejay Sinha

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