Facebook removed a number of fake accounts, pages, and groups that had ties to Russian intelligence.
Facebook has caught yet another cluster of fake Russian accounts spreading misinformation across the platform. The Russian actors posed as phony media outlets, think tanks, and hacktivist groups, prompting Facebook to remove the networks.
Russian Troll Groups Infiltrate Facebook Once Again
Facebook removed three Russian networks for violating its coordinated inauthentic behavior policy. This comes just after Facebook removed a China-run group for reportedly interfering with American and Southeast Asian politics.
The social media giant outlined the details of the takedowns in an About Facebook blog post. According to the post, Facebook removed a total of over 300 Facebook accounts, pages, and groups that were linked to Russian intelligence.
The biggest network targeted several countries, including Syria, Ukraine, Turkey, Japan, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, the UK, and the US. Facebook found that these actors posted about current events, established fake hacktivist groups, and even tried to direct users to off-platform websites.
Meanwhile, another smaller network focused on promoting a phony Turkish think tank throughout Turkey, Europe, and the US. Facebook notes that this cluster “had almost no following” upon removal.
The third network of accounts targeted countries from around the world, and also honed in on countries surrounding Russia. Much like the network of Russian trolls Facebook previously removed, this cluster of accounts posed as fake news outlets, and even hired journalists to pen news articles.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, noted that all of these Russian networks are connected to the same group behind the 2016 DC Leaks. Although these networks haven’t engaged in the same hack-and-leak behavior just yet, Gleicher said that Facebook is ready to handle any future changes, stating:
We anticipate that operations like these may attempt to pivot at any time and we will keep vigilant to find and remove them. We will also continue to share our findings publicly to provide context for the adversarial trends we see.
Keeping Fake News at Bay
As it stands, it seems like Facebook is just barely keeping up with all of the fake accounts on its platform. With that in mind, it’s always important to remain wary of what you read and share on social media.
Here’s how to avoid fake news and how you can stop spreading fake news on social media.
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