Facebook pulls 652 fake accounts and pages meant to influence world politics

Facebook has removed 652 fake accounts and pages with ties to Russia and Iran attempting to exert political influence in the US, UK, Middle East and Latin America.

The accounts and pages were divided between four separate campaigns, three of which originated in Iran, of “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”, disclosed by the social network today.

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Facebook and Twitter remove accounts linked to Russia and Iran campaigns
Facebook and Twitter say they have suspended or removed accounts linked to Iran and Russia over “inauthentic” or “manipulating” behaviour.

More than 650 Facebook pages and groups were said to have been identified as “misleading”, according to founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Meanwhile Twitter said it suspended 284 accounts with apparent links to Iran.


Sprawling Iranian influence operation globalizes tech’s war on disinformation
Iran was behind a sprawling disinformation operation on Facebook that targeted hundreds of thousands of people around the world, the social media company said Tuesday night, underscoring Silicon Valley’s increasingly global war on disinformation.

The Iranian effort dated to 2011 and had ties to state media operations in that country, Facebook said, involving hundreds of accounts on both Facebook and its sister site, Instagram. It also spread to Twitter and YouTube, which both companies said they also removed. The fake Iranian accounts bought ads on Facebook and used it to organize events.

Facebook Says It Removed Influence Efforts From Iran, Russia
Facebook Inc. for the first time named a country other than Russia that has been using fake accounts to manipulate global politics: Iran.

The social network said it removed 652 pages, groups and accounts for “inauthentic behavior” that originated in Iran and targeted people with news and information including political content in the U.S., U.K., Middle East and Latin America. In addition, an undisclosed number of pages, groups and accounts linked to sources the U.S. government previously identified as Russian military intelligence services also were removed, the company said.

Facebook Identifies New Influence Operations Spanning Globe
Facebook said on Tuesday that it had identified multiple new influence campaigns that were aimed at misleading people around the world, with the company finding and removing 652 fake accounts, pages and groups that were trying to sow misinformation.

The activity originated in Iran and Russia, Facebook said. Unlike past influence operations on the social network, which largely targeted Americans, the fake accounts, pages and groups were this time also aimed at people in Latin America, Britain and the Middle East, the company said.

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