Facebook takes down coordinated inauthentic accounts from Iran and Russia
Facebook removed four networks of accounts, pages, and groups for misleading practices regarding their identities and purposes. Three of them were based in Iran while one in Russia. They targeted different regions including the United States, North Africa, and Latin America. Facebook said it had shared its findings with the concerned public authorities and industry partners. The first network of accounts had 93 Facebook profiles, 17 pages and 4 Instagram accounts. Their activities were originated in Iran and targeted the US and French-speaking audiences in North Africa. The Pages often posted about local political news and geopolitics such as public figures in the US, politics in the US and Israel and support of Palestine and conflict in Yemen. The second network of accounts contained 38 Facebook profiles, 6 pages, 4 groups and 10 Instagram accounts that were from Iran and targeted audiences in Latin America, more specifically Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico. They frequently redirected Iranian state media stories and also posted political content tailored for these particular countries. The third and fourth network of accounts originated in Russia and Iran and focused mainly in the US. They frequently posted about political issues, including race relations in the US, criticism of the US and Israel’s policy on Iran, the Black Lives Matter movements, environmental issues, confederate ideas. Facebook detected these activities as part of their efforts to fight against suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior ahead of US presidential elections.