Thousands of Facebook, Instagram accounts linked to Chinese propaganda removed

10 months ago 594

Meta

has revealed that a large group of fake accounts were used to promote pro-China propaganda on its platform. These accounts were removed by the company and were linked to individuals associated with Chinese law enforcement. The same group of people were also found to be operating similar fake accounts on other platforms.
According to Meta's security researchers, 7,704

Facebook

accounts, 954

Pages

, 15 Groups and 15

Instagram

accounts were removed, which constitutes one of the biggest collections of fake accounts that the company has ever discovered. This operation is believed to be the largest covert influence operation that spans across multiple platforms, according to researchers.
The campaign attempted to shape public opinion in Taiwan, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Japan. However, the campaign's low-quality spammy attempts often failed to reach their intended audiences.
Researchers discovered a network responsible for a campaign involving fake posts and propaganda that had been tracked since 2019. The operation, named

Spamouflage

, was exposed by experts at

Graphika

, including

Ben Nimmo

, the company's director of investigations who now leads Meta's global threat intelligence team.

The aim of this operation was to conceal the identities of those behind it, but Meta found links to individuals associated with Chinese law enforcement. Consequently, the network's activities were removed from major platforms.
Meta has revealed that there were fake accounts attempting to spread messages in favour of China. These messages included positive comments about China and its province Xinjiang, as well as negative critiques of the United States, Western foreign policies, and critics of the Chinese government, such as journalists and researchers. Meta has traced the accounts back to law enforcement figures in China, but has not identified any specific agency or organisation.


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