Meta shut down a network of websites posing as independent news agencies or fake personas on Facebook and Instagram, targeting Ukrainians. According to Meta, the misinformation campaign violates the company’s policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior. “We took this operation down, we’ve blocked their domains from being shared on our platform, and we’ve shared information about the operations with other tech platforms with researchers and with governments,\” David Agranovich, Meta’s director of threat disruption, said in a statement published by CBS News. The campaign included approximately 40 fake accounts, pages, and groups aimed at high-profile Ukrainian journalists, military personnel, and “public thinkers.” According to Agranovich, fictitious characters were also active on YouTube, Twitter, Telegram, and Russian social media sites Odnoklassniki and VK “to appear more authentic” and “avoid scrutiny.” According to Reuters, Twitter suspended more than a dozen accounts and blocked the sharing of several links for violating its platform manipulation and spam policies. Agranovich explained that operators would write and post articles on their website “as if they were a reporter or commentator,” “The accounts were really just designed to post links to their own websites and direct people off-platform.” says one user. The network’s posts received a “very low-level ” of shares, comments, and reactions prior to its demise. Following Meta’s announcement of “extensive steps” to protect and support users in Ukraine and around the world, the company announced on Sunday that it had restricted access to several accounts, including those belonging to Russian state media organizations. Following digital attacks by the hacking group Ghostwriter, which targets people via email and uses compromised information to gain access to social media accounts, Facebook encourages users in Ukraine and Russia, in particular, to protect their data through strong security measures such as two-factor authentication. In response to the social network’s recent enforcement action against four Russian media firms, Russia’s government revealed last week vague plans to “partially restrict access” to Facebook as well as Twitter.
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Meta Discontinues Russian Influence Operation on Facebook and Instagram
The company's policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior is violated by the misinformation campaign. Meta shut down a network of websites posing as independent news agencies or fake personas on Facebook and Instagram, targeting Ukrainians. According to Meta, the misinformation campaign violates the company's policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior.