Facebook : Russian information company Sputnik staff ran faux accounts concentrating on jap Europe

The takedown is the newest in a sequence of actions taken by the social media large against Russian disinformation. Last February, particular counsel Robert Mueller indicted a Russian troll group for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The group had posed as Americans on Facebook.
Facebook (FB) said the 364 pages and accounts eliminated Thursday had virtually 800,000 followers and had spent round $135,000 on advertisements on the platform between October 2013 and this month.

The international locations focused included Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Georgia and Moldova. The pages regularly promoted anti-NATO sentiment and protest actions, Facebook mentioned.

The pages used false identities to help them seem genuine. One group of pages was managed by a Facebook consumer who claimed to be a woman dwelling in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which helps Facebook establish faux accounts, discovered that the pictures on the profile had really been taken from a Swedish mannequin’s social media accounts.

The pages additionally promoted virtually 200 occasions. Facebook mentioned it could not affirm if any of them really came about.

Sputnik’s partner firm, RIA Global LLC, is registered as a international agent within the United States.

‘Clearly political’

In a press release Thursday, Sputnik mentioned Facebook’s action was “virtually censorship.”

“The resolution is clearly political in its nature and is virtually censorship — seven [Facebook] pages belonging to our information hubs in neighboring international locations have been blocked,” the assertion mentioned.

“Sputnik editorial places of work take care of information they usually do it effectively. If this blocking is Facebook’s solely response to the standard of the media’s work, then we now have no questions, all the pieces is evident right here. There continues to be hope that frequent sense will prevail,” the assertion continued.

The Digital Forensic Research Lab discovered that the deception wasn’t restricted to information content material. One web page was dedicated to journey in Latvia, whereas one other was dedicated to fans of the president of Tajikistan.

Another takedown

Separately, Facebook mentioned it had eliminated one other 107 pages, teams and accounts that had been designed to appear to be they had been run from Ukraine, however had been in actual fact a part of a community that originated in Russia.

“We recognized some technical overlap with Russia-based exercise we noticed previous to the US midterm elections, including habits that shared traits with earlier Internet Research Agency exercise,” Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, mentioned in a put up.

The firm mentioned these pages had been discovered following a tip from US legislation enforcement.

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