Facebook takes down vast Iran-led manipulation campaign

Facebook said took down hundreds of accounts from Iran that were part of a vast manipulation campaign operating in more than 20 countries.

The world's biggest social network said it removed 783 pages, groups and accounts 'for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior tied to Iran.'

The pages were part of a campaign to promote Iranian interests in various countries by creating fake Facebook or Instagram identities as residents of those nations, according to a statement by Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook.

Facebook said its security team identified and blocked accounts linked to Iran aiming to influence political debate in more than 20 countries

Facebook said its security team identified and blocked accounts linked to Iran aiming to influence political debate in more than 20 countries

WHAT WAS REMOVED 

Presence on Facebook and Instagram: 262 Pages, 356 accounts, and 3 groups on Facebook, as well as 162 accounts on Instagram.

Followers: About 2 million accounts followed at least one of these Pages, about 1,600 accounts joined at least one of these groups, and more than 254,000 accounts followed at least one of these Instagram accounts.  

8 events were hosted. The first was scheduled for May 2014, and the most recent was scheduled for May 2018. 

Up to 210 people expressed interest in at least one of these events. We cannot confirm whether any of these events actually occurred.

 

'We can prove that this is content emanating from Iran; controlled by actors in Iran, and most of the content is reposted from Iran state media,' Gleicher said during a press briefing.

'But, we are not in position to directly assert who the actor is in this case.'

The announcement was the latest by Facebook as it seeks to stamp out efforts by state actors and others to manipulate the social network using fraudulent accounts.

'We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity

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