The China-linked network spread misinformation about politics in the US and Southeast Asia.
Facebook removed a string of political accounts linked to China and the Philippines on both Facebook and Instagram. The social media giant asserted that these accounts violated its policies against coordinated inauthentic behavior.
Facebook Removes Inauthentic Political Networks
Facebook announced the takedown of two coordinating disinformation networks in an About Facebook blog post. While one network originated in China, the other was traced to the Philippines.
The Chinese-linked cluster created 155 Facebook accounts, 11 pages, nine groups, and six Instagram accounts. In total, the network amassed around 133,000 followers and 61,000 group members.
According to Facebook, this network primarily focused on Southeast Asia, but it touched upon US politics as well. The cluster targeting the US “gained almost no following,” and posted “content both in support of and against presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Donald Trump.” The accounts also brought attention to US Navy ships in the South China Sea.
Despite the small following, Facebook still removed the accounts for breaking its rules on coordinated inauthentic behavior. Facebook detailed its findings, stating:
We identified several clusters of connected activity that relied on fake accounts to pose as locals in countries they targeted, post in Groups, amplify their own content, manage Pages, like and comment on other people’s posts.
This behavior was enough for Facebook to take down all traces of the misinformation network.
As for the Philippines-based accounts, this network garnered about 276,000 followers on Facebook, and 5,500 followers on Instagram. It focused on posting content about politics, military activity, and terrorism in the Philippines.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has issued takedowns of entire clusters of accounts, and it definitely won’t be the last. Facebook previously removed a Russian troll network for spreading fake news.
Uncovering Harmful Networks
As Facebook works to find and remove strings of accounts that spread propaganda, it’s important to use your own judgment when reading anything online, whether it’s a news article or a post on social media. In the age of information, fake news can be hard to avoid.
Want to get away from fake news? You can use these smart apps to get fact-checked and neutral news instead.
About The Author
Source: Facebook Removes Chinese Accounts for Interfering With US Politics
By Emma Roth
Techylawyer and its authors do not claim to have written this article, we acknowledge the works of the original author