Facebook removes fake networks targeting US, Myanmar ahead of elections

Photo: Reuters

As the US and Myanmar prepare for November elections, Facebook has removed two malicious networks that targeted the US and one network originated in and targeted domestic audiences in Myanmar for violating its policies.

The social network removed two Facebook Pages and 22 Instagram accounts for violating its policy against foreign interference in the US.

"This network began creating accounts in April 2020. The individuals behind this activity took steps to conceal their coordination and who is behind this network," Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Security Policy at Facebook, said late on Tuesday.

The people behind this activity posted in Spanish and English about news and current events in the US including memes and other content about humor, race relations and racial injustice, feminism and gender relations, environmental issues and religion.

"A small portion of this content included memes posted by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) in the past. They reused content shared across internet services by others, including screenshots of social media posts by public figures," Gleicher informed.

Facebook also removed nine Facebook accounts, eight Pages, two Groups and tewo Instagram accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Myanmar and focused on domestic audiences.

"This network posted primarily in Burmese about current events in Rakhine state in Myanmar, including posts in support of the Arakan Army and criticism of Tatmadaw, Myanmar's Armed forces," Facebook said.

"We found this network as part of our proactive investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behaviour ahead of the upcoming election in the region".

The company also removed 12 Facebook accounts, 6 Pages and 11 Instagram accounts for government interference and this network originated in Iran and focused primarily on the US and Israel.

Some of these accounts tried to contact others, including an Afghanistan-focused media outlet, to spread their information.

They focused on Saudi Arabia's activities in the Middle East and claims about an alleged massacre at Eurovision, an international song contest, hosted by Israel in 2019, Facebook said.

Over the past three years, Facebook has detected and removed over 100 networks of coordinated inauthentic behaviour from its platforms.



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel