Facebook tells Homeland Security: Don't create fake accounts

/ CBS/AP

Facebook said on Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may not proceed with a plan to create fake profiles to monitor the social media accounts of foreigners seeking to enter the country.

The move goes against Facebook's rules, the company said, noting that it prohibits false accounts and will remove any it finds that violate that policy.

The company made the announcement following an Associated Press report last week that Homeland Security had authorized its agents to use fake social media accounts, reversing a previous ban on the practice.

How to spot fake viral stories on social media

The agency said phony accounts would make it easier for agents reviewing visa and citizenship applications to search for fraud or security threats. The department already collects social media information from immigrants as well as from some foreign visitors.

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The plan would also be a violation of Twitter's rules. Twitter says it's still reviewing the new Homeland Security policy.

First published on September 3, 2019 / 5:38 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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