On Sunday, the tech titan apparently received a call from USA law enforcement regarding suspicious activity, which they believed was linked to foreign entities. Offering more detail, the company said that groups and accounts posed as USA or United Kingdom citizens, posting content on divisive topics like race relations and immigration.
US prosecutors have accused the so-called troll farm in St. Petersburg and other Russian Federation operatives of seeking to influence the 2016 presidential election, including by spreading misinformation and sowing discord on social networks.
Facebook has taken down a network of Facebook pages and Instagram accounts just hours before polls open on election day.
As for content, some of the accounts were focused on celebrities, while others favored political debate.
The announcement came shortly after U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies said they had no indication of efforts to disrupt election infrastructure but that Americans should be wary of Russian attempts to spread fake news. Facebook also disclosed sophisticated attempts from Russian Federation to interfere with elections and promote political discord in the U.S.
The company promised to find out whether these accounts are liked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities.
All the Facebook pages associated these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages. "They can do this by spreading false information about political processes and candidates, lying about their own interference activities, disseminating propaganda on social media, and through other tactics".
Weeks before the midterm elections, major internet players such as Google, Apple and Twitter all have stepped up fight against online disinformation efforts, with thousands of fake accounts purged from their platforms. The statement detailed government efforts to prevent election interference.
"... we wanted to let people know about the action we've taken and the facts as we know them today", Gleicher said.
Four days ago, Twitter had reportedly taken down more than 10,000 fake accounts for coordinated misinformation aimed at discouraging US voters from casting their ballots.