Facebook has announced the removal of 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, Facebook Pages, Groups and events involved in coordinated inauthentic behaviour. These activities were run from Israel targeting Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in Latin America and Southeast Asia.
An Israeli commercial entity, Archimedes Group was behind this inauthentic behaviour represented themselves as locals, including local news organizations, and published allegedly leaked information about politicians.
The Page administrators and account owners frequently posted about political news, including topics like elections in various countries, candidate views and criticism of political opponents.
According to their website, Archimedes Group describes themselves as a team of experts ‘experts from a wide spectrum of fields, consulting, lobbying, public diplomacy, International public relations, information, and social media.’
The company also boasts of having taken significant roles in political and public campaigns, including Presidential elections and other social media projects all over the world.
Below is a sample of the content posted by some of these Pages:
Caption: Faithful to only himself, Martin Fayulu criticizes and rejects the results of the presidential election, which has unfolded transparently and in an exemplary calmness. It is time for him to admit his defeat to president Tshisekedi who has been elected in a democratic way.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy in a blogpost said, “Although the individuals behind this network attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found that some of this activity was linked to an Israeli commercial entity, Archimedes Group. It has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and other policies, including by engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour. This organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter.”
Image Credits: Reuters