Facebook Deletes 82 Iranian Accounts for Misinformation on Trump, Kaepernick

Move comes after hundreds of Iranian and Russian trolls were removed in August

Facebook has removed a misinformation network with ties to Iran, the company announced on Friday.

The company said it took down 82 Pages, Groups and accounts that were spreading fake news aimed at users in the U.S. and U.K. “About 1.02 million” users followed at least one of these accounts, according to a blog post from Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy. The misinformation campaign was identified and investigated by Facebook in the last week.

The accounts routinely posted on divisive topics in the U.S., including immigration, President Trump and Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel for the national anthem. Facebook shared several examples, two of which are included below.

Content shared by misinformation network stemming from Iran (via Facebook)

On a call with reporters on Friday, Gleicher said the company has found no direct ties to the Iranian government at this point. “We can’t say for sure who is responsible,” he said. The deleted accounts spent less than $100 on advertising, according to Gleicher.

The latest removed accounts adds to the hundreds of accounts tied to Russia and Iran that Facebook removed in August. Facebook has also deleted hundreds of accounts coming from the U.S. that violated its policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior” earlier this month. Facebook has been looking to weed out political misinformation ahead of the U.S. midterm elections in November.