Foreign interference groups removed from Facebook and Instagram
Two large networks using fake accounts, pages and groups have been removed from Facebook and Instagram on the grounds of foreign and government interference. One network was found to originate in Georgia, while the second was from Vietnam and the US.
“We're constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity,” Facebook said Friday. “We don't want our services to be used to manipulate people.”
The network from Georgia encompassed 39 Facebook accounts, 344 pages, 13 groups and 22 Instagram accounts, which collectively had over 450,000 followers and members. The network pretended to be media, political parties and activists, posting about news, political issues and political criticism.
The Vietnam-US network involved 610 accounts, 89 Facebook pages, 156 groups and 72 Instagram accounts with more than 55 million followers. Targeting US citizens as well as Vietnamese, Spanish and Chinese-speaking audiences, the accounts used profile pictures generated by AI, pretending to be Americans. They “typically posted memes and other content about US political news and issues including impeachment, conservative ideology, political candidates, elections, trade, family values and freedom of religion.”
Earlier Friday, Twitter also shared data of 5,929 accounts originating from Saudi Arabia that it removed for manipulating information.
“These accounts represent the core portion of a larger network of more than 88,000 accounts engaged in spammy behaviour across a wide range of topics,” Twitter said. “We have permanently suspended all of these accounts.”
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