Face(CIA)book Removes 652 Accounts Linked To “Inauthentic Behavior” Originating In Iran And Russia

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Wed, 08/22/2018

Facebook said late on Tuesday that it had removed multiple pages, groups and accounts for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its site and on Instagram. The company said in a long blog post that it removed 652 pages, groups and accounts from activities that originated in Iran and “targeted people across multiple internet services in the Middle East, Latin America, UK and US.” Facebook noted that the activity appears to reflect increasing attempts by the Iranian regime to push its geopolitical agenda through online subterfuge.

Facebook said that they were acting based on a tip from a cybersecurity firm FireEye, known for its work in exposing “Russian hackers” and funding the controversial Center for European Policy Analysis. Some of the Iranian accounts and pages were created as far back as 2011, Facebook said.

Separately, Facebook also took down an unspecified number of accounts and pages that it said originated in Russia. While much of Russia’s alleged activity on Facebook in the past has centered on U.S. social issues, the bad actors identified in the latest purge were focused on politics in Syria and Ukraine.

“Finally, we’ve removed Pages, groups and accounts that can be linked to sources the US government has previously identified as Russian military intelligence services,” the social media giant wrote in bold text. It provided no number of removed accounts, when exactly they were blocked, or any details of their alleged wrongdoings. The company only said that some of these accounts are believed to be “associated with Inside Syria Media Center,” which, according to the Atlantic Council aka the academic wing of NATO, is “covertly spreading pro-Russian and pro-Assad content.”

Facebook said it found no evidence the campaigns by Russia and Iran were connected.

“We’ve been investigating some of these campaigns for months now, which highlights the tension we face in every investigation between removing bad actors quickly and improving our defenses over time,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said during a hastily scheduled conference call with reporters late Tuesday. “Because if we remove them too early, it’s harder to understand their playbook and the extent of their network. It can also make it harder for law enforcement.”

The Rest…HERE

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