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A smartphone user shows the Facebook application on his phone. Photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Iran-linked Facebook accounts removed for politically charged misinformation

NEW YORK — Facebook says it has removed 82 pages, accounts and groups linked to Iran from its service and from Instagram for spreading misinformation.

The company says the accounts were targeting U.S. and U.K. citizens and typically represented themselves to be American and in some cases British citizens, posting about politically charged topics such as race relations and opposition to President Donald Trump.

Facebook said Friday that a manual review of the accounts linked them to Iran. Facebook has traditionally relied heavily on automated checks to detect misinformation and other bad behavior on its service.

The company has already disclosed that it found and removed similar activity originating in Iran in August.

The removals come less than two weeks before the U.S. midterm elections.

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