Facebook removed several pages today as a result of four ongoing impact campaigns on the platform, and took down 652 fake accounts and pages that published political content. The campaigns, whose existence was first revealed by cybersecurity firm FireEye, has links to Russia and Iran, Facebook said in a blog post. The existence of the false accounts was first reported by The New York Times .
"This was the network of accounts that were deceptive of who they were and what they did," said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of a conversation with journalists. "We prohibit this type of behavior because authenticity is important. People must be able to trust the connections they make on Facebook."
In July, FireEye Facebook burned on the existence of a network of pages known as Liberty Front Press. The network included 70 accounts, three Facebook groups and 76 Instagram accounts, which had 1
Liberty Free Press was also linked to a set of pages published as news organizations while also hacking people's accounts and spreading malware, Facebook said. This network contained 12 pages and 66 accounts plus nine Instagram accounts. They had about 15,000 Facebook followers and 1,100 Instagram followers, and did not buy any advertisements or events.
A third aspect of the survey focused on irrelevant accounts and pages created in 2011 as shared posts on policies in the Middle East, United Kingdom and the United States. The network posted similar content across the network while hiding connections between the pages, officials said. That campaign had 168 pages and 140 Facebook accounts, as well as 31 Instagram accounts, and had 813,000 Facebook followers and 10,000 Instagram followers. They spent more than $ 6000 on ads between July 2012 and April this year. Content published by these pages is still under consideration, says the company.
The last part of the survey centered on pages, groups and accounts linked to Russian military intelligence. The Russian campaign appears to be unrelated to the Iranian, said the company. Posts from the campaign focused on politics in Syria and Ukraine, but not targeted to the United States, Facebook said.
The company announced US police authorities about the survey and working with them as it continues to review posts from campaigns, said it.
Twitter also removed accounts after being tipped by FireEye. In a thread on Twitter, the company's security team said that it was working with law enforcement.
We've completed 284 Twitter accounts to engage in coordinated manipulation. Based on our existing analysis, many of these accounts appear to originate from Iran.
– Twitter Security (@TwitterSafety) August 22, 2018
Last month, Facebook announced that it had identified suspicious accounts that were engaged in "Coordinated Authentic Behavior", which may have been intended to affect the US midway choice. At that time, Facebook refused to specify which country or country may have been behind the campaign, although officials said that the campaign was in line with previous Russian attacks.
This campaign included activity designed to increase excitement about splitting topics, including white supremacy in the United States
Update, 8:27 pm: This article has been updated to include Twitter receipt information.