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Facebook, Instagram Drops 51 Fake Accounts, 36 Pages Originated in Iran

Facebook says it is also investigating and is sharing information with law enforcement

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook has dropped 51 accounts, 36 pages, and seven groups after the cybersecurity firm FireEye revealed they were fake accounts originating in Iran. Three Instagram accounts were also deactivated.

The FireEye report Tuesday says the phony accounts pretended they came from the United States and impersonated legitimate Middle Eastern news sources to push a pro-Iranian agenda.

Posts written in both English and Arabic included discussions about American and British politics, Islam, Arab minorities, and the influence of Saudi Arabia. The posts represented both conservative and liberal points of view.

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Facebook says it is also investigating and is sharing information with law enforcement. Pixabay

One post said the best way to honor the memory of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was for the U.S. to stop sending aid to the Saudi coalition fighting Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen. The fake posters even succeeded in getting letters to the editors published in a number of U.S. newspapers, includingThe Los Angeles Times and The New York Daily News.

ALSO READ: Daily Facebook Usage Declines in US: Report

The author of the FireEye report, Lee Foster, was careful not to directly blame the Iranian government for the illegitimate accounts, saying the investigation is continuing. Facebook says it is also investigating and is sharing information with law enforcement.

“We’re constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people,” Facebook said. It added it canceled the suspect accounts for their behavior, and not because of content. (VOA)

Next Story

Facebook Loses its Place in Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work’ List

The Top-100 list by Glassdoor is for large organisations or those with at least 1,000 employees. It bases its rankings on eight factors, including work/life balance, compensation and benefits and senior management, among others

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The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Mired in several controversies amid break-up calls from the US lawmakers, Facebook has once again slipped off Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” list for a second year in a row.

Facebook dropped to 23rd best place to work, falling 16 spots from last year’s position, and its award score fell from a 4.5 to 4.4 out of a perfect 5, according to the annual listing by the leading job website.

The top three spots are occupied by leading growth platform HubSpot, management consultancy firm Bain & Company and market leader in electronic signatures DocuSign, respectively.

Among the tech companies, Google is at 11th spot, LinkedIn at 12th, Microsoft at 21st, Salesforce at 34th, VMware at 36th, Adobe at 39th, Cisco at 77th, Accenture at 83th and Apple at 84th (the Cupertino-based iPhone maker slipped 13 spots from the last year’s list).

Amazon once again failed to enter the list of 100.

For Facebook, 2019 has been bad on the diplomatic front. Several US Senators have called for breaking up the social network amid repeated data breaches and privacy violations on the platform.

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Facebook has failed to comply with the subpoenas for more information related to the ongoing privacy investigation into its alleged privacy violations and Cambridge Analytica, the media has reported. Pixabay

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris has stressed that authorities should take a serious look at breaking up Facebook as the social network platform is a “utility that has gone unregulated”.

Another Democratic 2020 candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has also stressed upon the possibility of breaking up Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process.

Zuckerberg has promised his employees to “fight and win” if Democratic presidential hopeful Warren wins the 2020 election and moves forward with her stated plan to break up the big US tech firms.

Also Read: Here’s What India’s Privacy Bill Requires from Social Media Firms

The company in July agreed to pay record-breaking $5 billion to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as fine for users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving millions of users.

The US FTC is also investigating Facebook for potential monopolistic practices.

The Top-100 list by Glassdoor is for large organisations or those with at least 1,000 employees. It bases its rankings on eight factors, including work/life balance, compensation and benefits and senior management, among others. (IANS)