Did the Iranians Create Fake US Social Media Accounts and Pose as GOP Politicians?

Starting in April 2018, a group of anonymous people created fake American social media accounts to pose as journalists, plant letters to newspapers and impersonate Republican candidates for Congress — all in an apparent effort to promote Iranian interests, NBC News reported.

And it's not completely clear who was behind the campaign, according to reports released Tuesday by Facebook and a leading cybersecurity company, FireEye.

Based on a tip from FireEye, Facebook said Tuesday it removed 51 Facebook accounts, 36 pages, seven groups and three Instagram accounts involved in what it called "coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Iran."

What it shows, the companies say, is that the tech-fueled media environment which makes the U.S. a global beacon for free expression has also opened American consumers to exploitation and manipulation.

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