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Facebook Removes 265 Israel-based Fake Accounts

The organisation had 65 Facebook accounts, 161 Pages, 23 Groups, 12 events and four Instagram accounts

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FILE - A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

Facebook has said it has removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, Facebook Pages, Groups and events that originated in Israel and were involved in coordinated inauthentic behaviour.

This activity originated in Israel and focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

“The people behind this network used fake accounts to run Pages, disseminate their content and artificially increase engagement,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook said in a statement late Thursday.

“Page administrators and account owners frequently posted about political news, including topics like elections in various countries, candidate views and criticism of political opponents,” he added.

Facebook found the activity was linked to an Israeli commercial entity, Archimedes Group.

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FILE – A man poses for a photo in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences in San Francisco, California, March 26, 2018. VOA

“This organisation and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter,” said the company.

The organisation had 65 Facebook accounts, 161 Pages, 23 Groups, 12 events and four Instagram accounts.

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About 2.8 million accounts followed one or more of these Pages, about 5,500 accounts joined at least one of these Groups and around 920 people followed one or more of these Instagram accounts.

“Around $812,000 in spending for ads on Facebook paid for in Brazilian reals, Israeli shekel, and US dollars. The first ad ran in December 2012 and the most recent ad ran in April 2019,” said Facebook. (IANS)

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Facebook Suffers Major Outage Across the World

Other than a 'degraded performance', Facebook was yet to issue a statement whether the outage was fixed

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

Facebook on Sunday faced major outage in the UK, the US and parts of Europe and Asia as users were not able to access News Feed and Notifications.

The outage monitor website Down Detector reported more than 4,000 reports from users, saying they faced issues with News Feed and Notifications features on the social networking giant.

The server status page on Facebook said: “We are currently experiencing degraded performance across the entire platform, resulting in increased request response time. Our team is aware of the issue and is working on a solution”.

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The users flooded Twitter, saying they can’t see the popular News Feed.

“When Facebook goes down, I always go to Twitter to check if it’s not just me,” tweeted one user.

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“All my Facebook notifications have gone. Has anyone else experienced the same?” tweeted another.

Other than a ‘degraded performance’, Facebook was yet to issue a statement whether the outage was fixed. (IANS)