Facebook suspends Russia-linked accounts for meddling in Africa

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The company said the online networks were linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian oligarch who was indicted by the U.S. and accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Prigozhin has denied connections to Wagner.

Less than a week after the Africa-Russia Summit, Facebook has suspended three networks of Russian accounts it says were engaging in foreign interference in Africa.

The campaigns closed down to meddling in Africa had submitted about local information and geopolitical problems, in addition to sharing articles from local and Russian state-controlled networking, Facebook explained.

"Prigozhin was indicted by US particular prosecutor Robert Mueller as a primary figure behind an alleged Russian" troll farm" accused of attempting to influence elections in the United States of America with covert social networking campaigns.

Facebook, Twitter and Google have vowed to step up the fight against political manipulation of their platforms after facing fierce criticism for failing to counter alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA election. He said it was highly likely that Russian groups were already using the same model of working with locals in the United States to post inflammatory messages on Facebook.

Regardless of the higher scrutiny, US officials have repeatedly warned of the danger posed by Russian Federation and other nations, that they say may nevertheless try to influence the result of following year's presidential contest. Around 212,000 accounts followed at least one of these pages and the Libya campaign spent about $10,000 in advertising and first started posting adverts in May 2014.

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The paid social media advertising markets in many African countries are still small. While the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency posted on Facebook 2,442 times a month on average in 2016, one of the networks in northern and central Africa posted 8,900 times in October alone, according to the Stanford researchers.

Lastly, in Libya Facebook says they removed a handful of inauthentic accounts and pages that worked "to manage Pages and drive people to an off-platform domain".

Putin previous year surprised the West with a string of high-profile moves that strengthened Russia's influence in the vehicle, an extremely poor but strategically important country that has traditionally had close ties to France, the former colonial power.

"The action marks a change from the last alleged attempts by the Internet Research Agency to target USA voters", stated Alex Stamos, Facebook's former security chief and head of the Stanford Internet Observatory.

According to documents leaked by The Guardian, companies and groups affiliated with the Russian government have been cooperating with African politicians and interfering in elections.

Last week, Facebook suspended a network of 50 Instagram accounts which originated in Russian Federation and focused primarily on the US.

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