World News

Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Accounts From Russia, Iran, North Macedonia, Kosovo

Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Accounts From Russia, Iran, North Macedonia, Kosovo

Facebook announced a massive cleanup on Tuesday, revealing that it has removed 2,632 pages, groups and accounts from Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo, in what it has described as acting in "coordinated inauthentic behavior".

A total of 2,632 pages, groups and accounts were removed from Facebook and Instagram for operations linked to the above-mentioned countries, the social media platform said.

"The page administrators and account owners represented themselves as locals and made-up media entities, often using fake accounts, and they impersonated real political groups and media organizations", Facebook said.

Numerous individuals behind the fraudulent activities used fake accounts to primarily post spam content and content related to Ukrainian news and politics.

The company has specifically targeted pages, accounts, and groups that engaged in "coordinated inauthentic behavior".

Facebook removed more than 2,600 pages, in particular those allegedly linked to Russian Federation and Iran, according to a statement released by the social media on Tuesday.

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The Russian operation was the largest, with a total of 1,907 pages, groups, and accounts removed. The company says about 1.4 million accounts followed one or more of these Pages.

Gleicher said rooting out such abuse was "an ongoing challenge because the people responsible are determined and well-funded". "We constantly have to improve to stay ahead".

"They operated in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kashmir, Kazakhstan or broadly across the Middle East and North Africa", Gleicher added. It removed 212 accounts tied to Macedonia and Kosovo. A number of these accounts, one of which had more than 1.4 million followers, shared subject matter on tensions between India and Pakistan, conflicts in Yemen and Syria and the recent political crisis in Venezuela. The users behind these accounts shared beauty tips and celebrity news in addition to running pages posing as various political groups in the U.S., UK, and Australia. Facebook previously took down accounts linked to Iran back in January and last August.

The Kosovan-Macedonian network also spent money on ads (roughly $5,800), which similarly ran from 2013 until March this year.

A small number of pages, however, posed as political groups from Australia, the United Kingdom and the USA, and posted content about political and religious topics, including Britain's exit from the European Union.


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