National: Facebook removed Russian propaganda network only after accounts got sloppy | Jeff Stone/CyberScoop
Two networks of inauthentic Facebook accounts and pages removed last month had spent years leveraging the social media company’s reach to amplify thinly-veiled Russian propaganda criticizing the U.S. and antagonists of the Kremlin. Facebook announced Tuesday it removed 91 accounts, 46 pages, two groups and one Instagram page connected to Crimea-based media agencies, News Front and South Front, which researchers now say have connections to Russian intelligence services. Both outlets have existed for years, though Facebook removed them last month after detecting that they used fake accounts to post content and generate engagement. It’s a dichotomy that exemplifies Facebook’s approach to information operations: The company historically has been reluctant to remove political misinformation or conspiracy theories, but acts against account operators caught misrepresenting their identity.