Facebook Shuts Hundreds of Russia-Linked Pages, …

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Facebook Shuts Hundreds of Russia-Linked Pages, …

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Facebook says the accounts and pages have been section of two unrelated disinformation operations aimed toward goals outdoor america.

Facebook has closed loads of accounts and pages connected to Russia, because of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” or disinformation operations. 

Facebook’s head of cybersecurity coverage, Nathaniel Gleicher, wrote in a weblog lately that the shuttered pages and accounts (on each Facebook and Instagram) constitute two unrelated disinformation networks. One operation focused Ukraine, and the opposite coated Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. 

US regulation enforcement tipped off Facebook to the community that inquisitive about Ukraine, which spent $25,000 on Facebook advertisements final yr. The community exhibited some “technical overlap with Russia-based activity we saw prior to the US midterm elections,” wrote Gleicher, and identical conduct to that of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm indicted via US Special Counsel Robert Mueller for interference within the 2016 US presidential election.

Facebook close 107 teams, pages, and accounts (with about 180,000 general fans) and 41 Instagram accounts (55,000 fans) related to this operation. 

The different community was once a content material amplification program for a Russian state-sponsored media group.

As described via the Atlantic Council‘s Digital Forensics Research Lab (DFRLab) in an intensive record:

The pages masqueraded as teams with particular pursuits — starting from meals to toughen for authoritarian presidents — and amplified content material from the Kremlin’s media company, Rossiya Segodnya, particularly that of its subordinate on-line information outlet Sputnik.

The nature of the process various. The Sputnik editors stated that Sputnik ran positive pages in Latvia, however on the different finish, “a sub-group of nine pages in Georgia was run by an account that appeared to be actively fraudulent” and acquired advertisements in particular to advertise Rossiya Segodnya content material, DFRLab wrote. “Most of the pages within the community have been covert, in that they didn’t point out a connection to Rossiya Segodnya and likewise didn’t declare every other particular identification.”

According to Gleicher, Facebook has thus close 75 accounts and closed 289 pages, representing 790,000 fans and $135,000 in promoting.

“The decision is clearly political. This is tantamount to censorship,” mentioned Sputnik in a observation to the Associated Press.  

In a observation to Dark Reading, a Facebook consultant mentioned, “As Nathaniel mentioned in his post today, we’ve taken down these Pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they post. In these cases, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action.”

For extra, learn right here at AP, right here at DFRLab, and right here at Facebook. 

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and previously the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was once senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and talking about virtualization, identification control, cybersecurity regulation, and a myriad … View Full Bio

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