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Facebook shares rise as platform removed more accounts ahead of midterm vote

Facebook shares are higher Wednesday, after the tech firm said it removed another batch of accounts late Monday, ahead of the Tuesday US midterm vote. That move followed news the social media platform had already blocked 115 accounts related to politics, ahead of the key poll day.

By 1630 BST, Facebook shares were 0.90% higher at $151.29. The stock has been little changed in recent weeks.

Facebook blocks more accounts

After sharing the news Sunday that the tech firm had blocked 85 Facebook accounts and 30 Instagram accounts that were working in a co-ordinated fashion to share political messages, the platform shared the news that more accounts were removed on the eve of the midterm vote.

Facebook’s head of cyber security policy sent out a separate statement late Monday, saying that after a tip off from US law enforcement, further accounts, with links to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, had been removed from the site.

They were found to be “engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour, which is banned from our services,” Nathaniel Gleicher said.

“We had already blocked most of these accounts yesterday, and have now blocked the rest,” Gleicher said in the second statement. “This is a timely reminder that these bad actors won't give up — and why it's so important we work with the US government and other technology companies to stay ahead.”

Facebook delays UK political ad checks

Reports show Wednesday, that Facebook’s plans to introduce checks on the advertisers placing UK political adds has been delayed from the initial November 7th implementation date.

Testing appears to suggest the process in its present state isn’t robust enough and the launch of the new check has been pushed back to December.

“We have learnt that some people may try to game the disclaimer system by entering inaccurate details and have been working to improve our review process to detect and prevent this kind of abuse,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, according to the Guardian.

“Once we have strengthened our process for ensuring the accuracy of disclaimers, we will be introducing enforcement systems to identify political advertisers and require them to go through the authorisation process,” the statement added.

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