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Facebook on Tuesday removed a 51-user-accounts, 36 pages, and seven groups and three Instagram accounts that are coming from Iran that are engaged in “authentic behavior” on the social media.
The removals were tied to the findings by FireEye, an AMERICAN cybersecurity company discovered that the activity in August 2018. The entities like users residing in the US and parts of Europe, and tried to contact policy makers, journalists, academics, Iranian dissidents, and other public figures, according to a statement from Facebook.
The entities involved turned out to be the dissemination of information promote Iranian interests, for example, the spread of support for the Iran nuclear deal, while slamming Trump management policies and attitudes. In some rare cases, they deviated from the usual political agenda to spread pro-Trump and anti-Iran messages, a tactic intended to distract, according to FireEye analysis.
CROSSFIT IS CLOSED, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, ACCUSES THE SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT OF CENSORSHIP, ‘UTOPIAN SOCIALISTS’
“It is possible that these accounts were looking to build an audience with a view antipathetic to Iran, which can later be targeted with the pro-Iranian messages,” says research compiled by FireEye.
Said Facebook, “We are constantly working to detect and stop this kind of activity, because we do not want our services to be used to manipulate people.”
Facebook said the FireEye analysis prompted an internal investigation in Iran on the basis of misinformation, which is allowed the site to identify fake accounts and take them down.
The cybersecurity company identified dozens of Twitter accounts — some of them impersonated Republican House candidates in 2018, the mid-term elections.
Tweet by suspicious account @livengood_marla, dated Sept. 24, 2018, at left; tweet by Livengood is a verified account, dated Sept. 1, 2018.
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Facebook promised to get ahead of misinformation campaigns on its platforms, “by investing heavily in building better technology, hiring more people and working more closely with police, security experts and other technology companies.”