Meta shuts down Russian influence operation on Facebook and Instagram
Meta on Sunday shut down a network of websites posing as independent news agencies or fake personas, targeting Ukrainians on Facebook and Instagram.
The misinformation campaign, Meta said, violates company policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior.
“We have removed this operation, we have blocked their domains from being shared on our platform, and we have shared information about the operations with other technology platforms with researchers and with governments,” said David Agranovich. , director of threat disruption for Meta, said in a statement carried by CBS News.
The campaign consisted of around 40 fake accounts, pages and groups targeting high profile Ukrainian journalists, the military and “public thinkers”. Fictional characters were also active on YouTube, Twitter, Telegram and Russian social media sites Odnoklassniki and VK “to appear more authentic” and “to avoid scrutiny”, according to Agranovich.
Twitter has confirmed to Reuters that it has suspended more than a dozen accounts and blocked several links from sharing for violating its rules against platform manipulation and spam.
The operators wrote and published articles on their website “as if they were a journalist or a commentator,” Agranovich explained. “The accounts were really designed to post links to their own websites and direct people off the platform.” Before being taken down, the network’s posts received a “very low level” of shares, comments and reactions.
Following Meta’s announcement of “extensive measures” to protect and support users in Ukraine and around the world, the company said on Sunday that it had restricted access to several accounts, including those belonging to media outlets. Russian state.
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