Facebook suspends networks targeting US, Ukraine and Myanmar

Facebook suspends networks targeting US, Ukraine and Myanmar
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Facebook on Wednesday announced that it had removed three unconnected networks of accounts and pages targeting the United States, Ukraine and Myanmar with misinformation.

The small number of accounts — six on Facebook and five on Instagram — targeting the U.S. were based in Iran. The individuals behind the misinformation, which focused on religious and international policy issues, used fake accounts to post in groups and spread content in comment sections.

Facebook also removed a network linked to Russian military intelligence services focused on influencing public perception of news events in Ukraine and neighboring countries. The social media platform noted that some of the 78 Facebook accounts posed as citizen journalists and tried to contact public figures.

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Finally, Facebook removed 13 accounts and 10 pages linked to two telecom companies in Vietnam and Myanmar that posed as independent telecom companies. The network circulated content disparaging other service providers in Myanmar.

Facebook removed all the highlighted accounts, pages and groups for violating its policies prohibiting government interference and coordinated, inauthentic behavior.

The removals illustrate the growing challenges facing social media platforms over reining in misleading content, especially when that content can affect political outcomes.

"We are making progress rooting out this abuse, but as we’ve said before, it’s an ongoing challenge," Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, said in a blog post announcing the removals.

"We’re committed to continually improving to stay ahead. That means building better technology, hiring more people and working closer with law enforcement, security experts and other companies."