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Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior from Russia

Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior from Russia
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Thursday, 17 January, 2019, 16:20

Facebook Inc. said it disrupted two campaigns run by fake accounts with links to Russia and its Sputnik news service as it continues to grapple with misinformation on its platform:

"Today we removed 364 Facebook Pages and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern European countries. The Page administrators and account owners primarily represented themselves as independent news Pages or general interest Pages on topics like weather, travel, sports, economics, or politicians in Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. Despite their misrepresentations of their identities, we found that these Pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a news agency based in Moscow, and that some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption.

Presence on Facebook: 289 Pages and 75 Facebook accounts. We did not find associated accounts on Instagram.
Followers: About 790,000 accounts followed one or more of these Pages.
Advertising: Around $135,000 in spending for ads on Facebook paid for in euros, rubles, and US dollars. The first ad ran in October 2013, and the most recent ad ran in January 2019. We have not completed a review of the organic content coming from these accounts.
Events: Around 190 events were hosted by these Pages. The first was scheduled for August 2015, and the most recent was scheduled for January 2019. Up to 1,200 people expressed interest in at least one of these events. We cannot confirm whether any of these events actually occurred.

Presence on Facebook and Instagram: 26 Pages, 77 Facebook accounts, and 4 Groups, as well as 41 Instagram accounts.
Followers: About 180,000 Facebook accounts followed one or more of these Pages, and more than 55,000 accounts followed one or more of these Instagram accounts.
Advertising: Around $25,000 in spending for ads on Facebook and Instagram paid for in rubles. The first ad ran in January 2018, and the most recent ad ran in December 2018. We have not completed a review of the organic content coming from these accounts.
Events: No events were hosted by these Pages."