The Menlo Park, Calif., social media company has deleted over 1,000 accounts associated with these networks, sharing inaccurate information about politics in counties including Iran and El Salvador, under fake names and while pretending to be citizens of those countries, the publication said.
Facebook's actions are detailed in its March 2021 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report, which the company developed in an effort to "rid its platforms of fake accounts."
Some of the take downs detailed in the report include:
- The removal of over "300 accounts, pages and groups on Facebook" targeting and sharing information about Iran. Facebook said it believes the network is run by "years-old troll farm located in Albania and operated by the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq opposition group."
- The removal of "118 accounts, eight pages and 10 Instagram accounts based in Spain and El Salvador." Facebook said the trouble violated the "company’s foreign interference policy" by amplifying "criticism of Henry Flores, a mayoral candidate in Santa Tecla, El Salvador."
- The removal of an Israel-based "network of 29 Facebook accounts, two pages, one group and 10 Instagram accounts" that included people posing as locals and posting "criticism about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu."
- The removal of "networks based in Argentina, Mexico, Egypt and other nations."
Facebook’s global threat disruption lead, David Agranovich, told Bloomberg that the company has been building its Inauthentic Behavior program for several years and that he expects “this drum beat of take downs to continue."
Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, told the publication that while the company has "improved its ability to identify inauthentic accounts...bad actors continue to change their strategies to avoid Facebook’s detection."
Shares of Facebook traded lower Tuesday, in line with the broader market. The stock was down 0.72% at $306.69 in afternoon trade. Elsewhere on Wall Street, stocks were mixed, a day after equities rallied to all-time highs on optimism over an economic rebound in the U.S.
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