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Facebook says will remove 265 ‘fake accounts’ linked to Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Facebook said on Thursday it had removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, pages, groups and events linked to Israel due to what he called “inauthentic behavior” aimed at users in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

FILE PHOTO: Stickers bearing the Facebook logo are displayed on the Facebook Inc. F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, USA, April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

The move is part of a broader effort by Facebook to address concerns about privacy lapses and hatred in the social media.

Facebook said that the “authentic” activity originated in Israel and is focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia as well as in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

“The people behind this network uses fake accounts to turning pages, the dissemination of their content and artificially increase involvement,” Nathaniel , head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook said in a statement.

He noted that in Israel the Archimedes Group as the source of a number of of the activity. “This organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it was issued a cease and desist letter,” said Gleicher.

Archimedes was not immediately available for comment

Gleicher said Archimedes had 65 Facebook accounts, 161 pages, 12 events and four Instagram accounts. Approximately 2.8 million accounts, followed by one or more of these pages.

He said that the persons involved are also represented itself as the local population, including the local news and organisations, and published allegedly leaked information about politicians.

“The page administrators and account owners regularly informed of political news, including topics such as the elections in the different countries, the candidate of the views and the criticism of political opponents,” Gleicher said. “We take in these pages and accounts on the basis of their behavior, not the content they know.”

He added that around $812,000 was spent for the advertisements on Facebook are paid in Brazilian real, Israeli shekel and the US dollar with the first ad in 2012 and the most recent previous month, Gleicher said.

“We have shared information about our analysis, with partners from the industry and policy makers,” he said.

(Story corrects the headline and first paragraph to show the accounts linked to Israel, one Israeli company)

Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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