Meta Takes Down Thousands of Accounts

Meta Takes Down Thousands of Accounts

Meta has disclosed that it disrupted two of the largest known covert influence operations in the world from China and Russia, blocking thousands of accounts and pages across its platform.

The network, which included 7,704 Facebook accounts, 954 Pages, 15 Groups and 15 Instagram accounts, is said to have been run by “geographically dispersed operators” across China, posting content about China and its province Xinjiang, criticism of the U.S, Western foreign policies, and critics of the Chinese government.

Central to the activity is the sharing of spammy links, the origins of which trace back to a cluster named Spamouflage (aka DRAGONBRIDGE) that has been active since the second half of 2018, with Meta uncovering links to individuals associated with Chinese law enforcement in connection with the operation.

“Many comments on Spamouflage posts that we have observed came from other Spamouflage accounts trying to make it look like they were more popular than they were,” Meta said. “Only a few instances have been reported when Spamouflage content on Twitter and YouTube was amplified by real-world influencers.”

The social media giant said it also blocked thousands of malicious website domains as well as attempts to run fake accounts and Pages on its platforms connected to the Russian operation known as Doppelganger, which has been attributed to two companies named Structura National Technologies and Social Design Agency.

“This operation was focused on mimicking websites of mainstream news outlets and government entities to post fake articles aimed at weakening support for Ukraine,” Rosen said. “It has now expanded beyond initially targeting France, Germany, and Ukraine to also include the U.S. and Israel.”

The development comes on the heels of a new research that found that generative AI models can be harnessed to produce and disseminate misinformation, uncovering a botnet dubbed Fox8 on X (formerly Twitter) that’s engineered to promote blockchain-related content and trick victims into investing in counterfeit cryptocurrencies.