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Facebook Takes Down Networks Linked to Russian Disinformation

The social network said it was moving proactively to dismantle infrastructure Russia could use against the American presidential election.

Facebook announced on Thursday that it was taking down three disinformation networks that it said were linked to Russia’s military and intelligence agencies, and to the Internet Research Agency, which was central to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

None of the networks were large, and they operated almost entirely abroad — from Japan to Belarus. But Facebook said it was acting proactively to dismantle infrastructure Russia could use around the Nov. 3 presidential election, either in an effort to influence the vote or to dispute its outcome by calling into question the fairness of the balloting.

“We haven’t seen these networks directly target the 2020 election,” Nathaniel Gleicher, the head of security policy for Facebook, said in an interview. “But they are linked to actors associated with the election interference in the U.S. in the past, including in the ‘DCLeaks’ in 2016.”

He was referring to a website later determined to have been set up by a Russian military intelligence agency, the G.R.U., to make public emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

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