Facebook takes down more fake accounts, warns of ‘perception hacking’

The warning comes a week before election day.

Sponsored Links

The Faceook logo is seen on an iPhone 11 Pro Max in this illustration photo in Warsaw, Poland on April 4, 2020. (Photo Illustration by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

With just a week to go before the 2020 presidential election, Facebook has once again taken down networks of fake accounts that were targeting the US.

 As with other recent disclosures, Facebook says the networks were identified in an early stage. One, which consisted of a single Facebook account and 22 Instagram accounts, originated in Mexico and Venezuela and posted in English and Spanish about US current events. Another, made up of 12 Facebook accounts, six pages and 11 Instagram accounts, was tied to Iran and “focused primarily on the US and Israel.”

But the takedowns also came with an important warning from Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy: that the “small and ineffective” efforts are “an attempt to weaponize uncertainty to sow distrust and division.”

Turn on browser notifications to receive breaking news alerts from Engadget
You can disable notifications at any time in your settings menu.
Not now

“As it gets harder to go undetected for long periods of time, we see malicious actors attempt to play on our collective expectation of wide-spread interference to create the perception that they’re more impactful than they in fact are,” Gleicher wrote in a statement. 

“We call it perception hacking — an attempt to weaponize uncertainty to sow distrust and division. We’re closely monitoring for potential scenarios where malicious actors around the world may use fictitious claims, including about compromised election infrastructure or inaccurate election outcomes, to suppress voter turnout or erode trust in the poll results, particularly in battleground states.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.
View All Comments
Facebook takes down more fake accounts, warns of ‘perception hacking’