A new report says that Russia remains the largest source of fake and misleading Facebook accounts on social media.
In a report published on Wednesday, the social media giant revealed that it had uncovered coordinated falsehood campaigns in more than 50 countries since 2017. According to the report, 27 of the most coordinated fake networks originate from Russia.
Facebook defines coordinated inauthentic behavior as any centralized network of accounts, pages, or groups used to mislead users about who is behind a particular campaign and what they’re doing.
There are 23 such networks in Iran, making it the second-largest source after Russia. Myanmar comes in second with nine networks, followed by the United States with nine and Ukraine.
After attempts by Russian actors to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook implemented a policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior. Facebook stated subsequently that it has extensively investigated and disrupted operations across the globe.
Approximately 45% of Facebook’s 150 networks dismantle since 2017 targeted domestic audiences, while 38% targeted international markets. In the United States, the U.S. disinformation networks were most frequently targeted, followed by Ukrainian and British networks.
The report presents several Russian disinformation networks that Facebook has suppressed, such as one run by Russian military intelligence that targets Ukraine and neighboring countries and one operated by the Russian Internet Research Agency that used thousands of fake accounts to influence the 2018 U.S. Midterm elections.
As a result of Facebook’s report, no significant appeal had been gained by the disinformation, or the major surgery claims were untrue.
Russian, Iranian, and United States networks were primarily responsible for these networks. Every country’s Facebook page has been removed from five disinformation networks.
Following Facebook’s increased efforts to shut down disinformation networks, the smartest actors have increased operational security and shown more discipline to avoid making mistakes and getting caught.
In response to enforcement, we expect these tactics to continue to evolve
The report states that technology platforms should be measured across all platforms.
The pursuit of malicious manipulation campaigns will continue to be critical, making it imperative that public figures, researchers who conduct influence operations research, and journalists stay vigilant.
Facebook has built a team dedicated to uncovering and dismantling sophisticated influence operations. Then we apply the insights gained from these investigations to improve the accuracy of the automated policing and detection tools.
In addition to the talented group of more than 200 people behind the campaign, the team includes individuals with experience in open-source research, cybersecurity, threat investigations, law enforcement, national security, investigative journalism, engineering, data science, and academic research in disinformation.
Photo by Naresh777 / Shutterstock.com