Facebook took down 783
“The world’s biggest social network said it removed 783 pages, groups and accounts “for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior tied to Iran.
Nathaniel Gleicher, head of
The pages were part of a campaign to promote Iranian interests in various countries by creating fake identities as residents of those nations, according to a statement by Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook.
Facebook continues its efforts to prevent manipulation of its platform for fraudulent activities.
“We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people,” Gleicher
“We’re taking down these pages, groups and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they post. In this case, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action.”
Threat actors behind the campaign represented themselves as locals and posted news stories on current events. The accounts were used to discuss about topics of interest for Iranians, such as Israel-Palestine relations and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
“This morning we removed 783 Pages, groups and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior tied to Iran. There were multiple sets of activity, each localized for a specific country or region, including Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, US, and Yemen.” wrote Nathaniel Gleicher.
“The Page administrators and account owners typically represented themselves as locals, often using fake accounts, and posted news stories on current events. This included commentary that
In some cases, the activity carried out by the fake accounts
Facebook pointed out that although threat actors attempted to hide their identities, the manual review of the activities associated with these accounts allowed them to identify the coordinated inauthentic behavior from Iran.
The campaign operated by threat actors as early as 2010 involved 262 pages, 356 accounts, and three groups on Facebook, as well as 162 accounts on Instagram.
According to Facebook, about 2 million accounts followed at least one of the above pages, about 1,600 accounts joined at least one of the groups, and more than 254,000 accounts followed at least one of these Instagram accounts.
The social network giant reported that operators spent less than $30,000 in ads on Facebook and Instagram, they were paid for primarily in US dollars, UK pounds, Canadian dollars, and euros
“We identified some of these accounts through our continued investigation into Iranian coordinated inauthentic behavior we found and removed last
“Our investigation was aided by open source reporting and information provided to us by our industry peers. We have shared information about our investigation with US law enforcement, the US Congress, and policymakers in impacted countries. “