Facebook purges 2 vast fake networks in Iraq, Tunisia

(IANS) Facebook on Thursday said it has removed two vast fake networks that originated in Iraq and Tunisia who were involved in coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB).

In Iraq, Facebook removed 324 Pages, 71 accounts, 5 Groups and 31 Instagram accounts.

This activity originated in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and used fake accounts to post in Groups, impersonate local politicians and political parties, and manage Pages masquerading as news entities.

“Our investigation connected this activity to individuals associated with Zanyari Agency, part of the intelligence services of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraqi Kurdistan,” Facebook said in a statement.

In Tunisia, Facebook removed 446 Pages, 182 Facebook accounts, 96 Groups, 60 events and 209 Instagram accounts.

This activity originated in Tunisia and focused on Francophone countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Some Pages engaged in deceptive audience building tactics changing their focus from non-political to political themes including substantial name and admin changes over time. We found this network as part of our internal investigation which linked this activity to a Tunisia-based PR firm Ureputation,” informed the social networking giant.

In 2019, Facebook took down over 50 networks worldwide for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour, including ahead of major democratic elections.

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