Daily Management Review

Russia Linked Hundreds Of Fake Accounts And Pages Dropped By Facebook


Russia Linked Hundreds Of Fake Accounts And Pages Dropped By Facebook
Facebook has confirmed that it has removed from its social media platform hundreds of fake pages and accounts that are allegedly related to Russian operations and hackers.
The company had removed "multiple pages, groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram", announced Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, through a blog post that was published on Thursday.
Two separate operations to remove the fake pages and accounts had been undertaken by Facebook, Gleicher said. Both the operations targeted pages and accounts with their origins in Russia. One of the operations that was undertaken by the largest social media platform of the world was related to employees at Sputnik, which is a Russian news agency with its head quarters in Moscow. Facebook said that this investigation and identification of fake pages and accounts comprised of 364 pages and accounts that were operational on the social media networks used in countries in the Baltics, Central Asia, and Central and Eastern European regions.
The people behind the activity "coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves" was the basis that Facebook used to ascertain and justify the removal of the pages and accounts, the company said.
Facebook said that the owners of the accounts and the administrators of the pages misrepresented themselves to be independent news pages or were operating in the general news page scenario based on a wide range of topics from the weather, travel and sports.
The second operation undertaken by Facebook, more than 100 Facebook pages and 40 Instagram accounts were removed and blocked by the social media company which were engaged in "coordinated inauthentic behavior". These activities are believed to be a part of a larger network that has its origins in Russia and were being operated out of Ukraine. The U.S. law enforcement had supplied it with the initial information and data about the fake accounts, Facebook said.
U.S. law authorities, U.S. congress and other technology companies in impacted countries have been provided with all of the details of the outcome of the operations that were undertaken by it, Facebook said.
In recent times, there has been severe criticism of the social media platform that its platform was being used for spreading of fake news and misinformation and that it was not doing enough to curb such tendencies. Facebook was also being allegedly being used for influencing outcome of national and regional elections and there were serious concerns about data security of users after the Analytica scandal. 
It was also found that in 2017, Facebook platform was used to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, won by Donald Trump, by Russia-based operatives through the publishing of thousands of posts - most of which were fake, this was also later ascertained by the social media company.