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Reddit bans accounts, suspects possible UK vote interference

SeattlePI.com Saturday, 7 December 2019
LONDON (AP) — The prospect of Russian interference in Britain's election flared anew Saturday after the social media platform Reddit concluded that people from Russia leaked confidential British government documents on Brexit trade talks just days before the general U.K. vote.

Reddit said in a statement that it has banned 61 accounts suspected of violating policies against vote manipulation. It said the suspect accounts shared the same pattern of activity as a Russian interference operation dubbed "Secondary Infektion" that was uncovered earlier this year.

Reddit investigated the leak after the documents became public during the campaign for Thursday's election, which will determine the country's future relationship with the European Union. All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs.

Reddit said it believed the documents were leaked as “part of a campaign that has been reported as originating from Russia."

“We were able to confirm that they did indeed show a pattern of coordination,'' Reddit said.

The British government has not challenged the authenticity of the documents.

Britain's main opposition party has argued the documents prove that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party is seeking a deal with the United States after Brexit that would drive up the cost of drugs and imperil the state-funded National Health Service. The issue has been a central election theme, largely because the country deeply cherishes the health service, which has suffered under years of austerity.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the 451 pages of documents, which covered six rounds of preliminary talks between U.S. and U.K. negotiators, proved that Johnson was planning to put the NHS “up for sale” in trade talks. Johnson — who was not prime...
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