Cordinating “inauthentic behavior”, targeting people in US and UK was why facebook removed a dozen of pages, accounts and groups. That the firm says were linked to IRAN.
Opposition to President Donald Trump and immigration along with topics such as the race relation were the main things the affected posts were targeting on.
The social network revealed that it uncovered the activity a week ago. “We can’t say for sure who is responsible,” it said in a blog post.
It also added that until now there were no ties that proved a link of these posts with the Iranian government. However the investigation was ongoing and would be soon in findings the reason and people behind it. A total of 82 pages, accounts and groups were indentified with the violation of the platform’s policies. Showing inauthentic behavior over Facebook and Instagram, only two advertisements were connected to the effort, it said.
Facebook said that much activity was seen during the last year even though the earliest signs lead to June 2016. Researchers at the Atlantic Council, which reviewed the behaviour, said many of the accounts masqueraded as American liberals.
Unlike a batch of Iranian propaganda Facebook identified in August, these messages appeared more varied, with anti-Israel and anti-Saudi Arabia commentary mixed in, it said.
“This evolution of tactics from previous more blatant pro-Iranian messaging suggests the operation had learned from earlier takedowns,” the council said.
The BBC asked the company how many people had seen the posts and pictures shared on the fake accounts, or clicked “attending” on the fake events. Facebook said it was not yet sure. However, the Atlantic Council said some pages had large followings; one such facebook page was “I Need Justice Now” which had more than 13 million video views.
About 25,000 Facebook members had joined at least one of the three groups and more than a million people followed at-least one of the 30 pages. While more than 28,000 people followed at-least one of the 16 instagram accounts.
That’s not all these accounts also created 7 ‘events’ that people indicated to attend.
The disclosure comes just weeks before a hotly contested congressional election in the US and as the UK continues to debate Brexit, which has fuelled talk of challenges to Prime Minister Theresa May.