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Facebook Removes Multiple Fake Pages, Groups, Accounts: Report

Finally, said Facebook, it removed 181 accounts and 1,488 Facebook Pages that were involved in domestic-focused inauthentic activity in Honduras

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Facebook, Data, Privacy
FILE - The entrance sign to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Oct. 10, 2018. VOA

Facebook on Thursday said it removed multiple Pages, Groups and accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behaviour on its platform and Instagram and originated in Thailand, Russia, Ukraine and Honduras.

It removed 12 Facebook accounts and 10 Pages for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour that originated in Thailand and focused primarily on Thailand and the US.

“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our review found that some of this activity was linked to an individual based in Thailand associated with New Eastern Outlook, a Russian government-funded journal based in Moscow,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook said in a blog post.

Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

“We didn’t find any links between the campaigns we’ve removed, but all created networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing,” he added.

Ahead of the election in Ukraine, Facebook removed 18 Facebook accounts, nine Pages and three Groups for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour that originated primarily in Russia and focused on Ukraine.

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“Also, ahead of the election in Ukraine, we removed 83 Facebook accounts, two Pages, 29 Groups, and five Instagram accounts engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour that originated in Russia and the Luhansk region in Ukraine and focused on Ukraine,” said Facebook.

Finally, said Facebook, it removed 181 accounts and 1,488 Facebook Pages that were involved in domestic-focused inauthentic activity in Honduras. (IANS)

Next Story

Twitter, Facebook Shut Down China-backed Fake Accounts

The recent wave of anti-government protests has prompted widespread criticism of the police for their alleged brutality against protesters

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Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

As pro-democracy protests gain momentum in Hong Kong, Twitter and Facebook have suspended several accounts that were part of the Chinese government’s influence campaign and targeted protest movement and the call for political change in Hong Kong.

Twitter said it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts involved in coordinated inauthentic behaviour — including 936 accounts originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“Overall, these accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” Twitter said in a blog post late Monday.

The company identified large clusters of accounts behaving in a coordinated manner to amplify messages related to the Hong Kong protests.

“As Twitter is blocked in China, many of these accounts accessed Twitter using VPNs. However, some accounts accessed Twitter from specific unblocked IP addresses originating in mainland China,” the micro-blogging platform added.

The accounts were suspended for a range of violations of Twitter’s platform manipulation policies like spam, coordinated activity, fake accounts, attributed activity and violative content.

The micro-blogging platform said it will also ban ads from China-backed media companies, for which it has already faced the flak from users.

Facebook said it has also removed seven Pages, three Groups and five accounts originated in China and involved in posting fake news pertaining to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

The individuals behind this campaign engaged in a number of deceptive tactics, including the use of fake accounts, “some of which had been already disabled” to manage Pages posing as news organisations, post in Groups, disseminate their content, and also drive people to off-platform news sites.

“About 15,500 accounts followed one or more of these Pages and about 2,200 accounts joined at least one of these Groups,a Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, said in a blog post.

“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government,” he added.

Based on a tip shared by Twitter about activity they found on their platform, Facebook conducted an internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behaviour in the region and identified the malicious accounts.

Also Read: Apple ‘Bug’ Puts iPhones with Latest iOS to Hacking Risk

Since June, Hong Kong has been rocked by a wave of protests because of the extradition bill, which would have enabled fugitives to be extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China.

A mass rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, widely deemed the most important so far this month, attracted tens of thousands of people as the crisis entered the 11th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests.

The recent wave of anti-government protests has prompted widespread criticism of the police for their alleged brutality against protesters. (IANS)