Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Facebook said late Monday it shut down more than 100 accounts on the eve of the U.S. midterm elections after being alerted to suspicious Internet activity that may be linked to foreign nations.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity, wrote in a blog post Monday night that authorities notified them of the suspicious accounts a day earlier. He said 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts were terminated after a Facebook investigation.
"We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them in more detail," Gleicher wrote. "Almost all the Facebook pages associated with these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages, while the Instagram accounts seem to have mostly been in English -- some were focused on celebrities, others political debate."
"Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly. But given that we are only one day away from important elections in the U.S., we wanted to let people know about the action we've taken and the facts as we know them today," he added.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told investors last week the social media giant had improved at detecting foreign interference, though he added "there are going to be things that our systems miss, no matter how well tuned we are."
Social media companies, particularly Facebook, were criticized greatly during and after the 2016 presidential election for the spread of disinformation during the campaign.
Lawmakers and others chided Facebook for not identifying and shutting down bogus accounts that were linked to Russian operatives.
The company -- plus Google and Twitter -- have since taken many steps to fight inauthentic accounts and intentionally divisive posts designed for political effect. Facebook has introduced numerous safeguards.
In a hearing before the Senate intelligence committee in September, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg stressed the company stands with government, law enforcement and security specialists to root out partisan and foreign campaigns.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and FBI Director Christopher Wray issued a joint statement Monday asking voters to be aware of unusual activities.
"Americans should be aware that foreign actors -- and Russia in particular -- continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through actions intended to sow discord," the statement said.
"They can do this by spreading false information about political processes and candidates, lying about their own interference activities, disseminating propaganda on social media, and through other tactics. The American public can mitigate these efforts by remaining informed, reporting suspicious activity, and being vigilant consumers of information."
So far, intelligence officials said they've seen no proof yet that any foreign nation is trying to tamper with U.S. voting systems, NBC News reported.