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Fb stated Tuesday it pulled down greater than 300 accounts, pages and teams that appeared to have been created by a troll farm in Albania linked to Mojahedin-e Khalq, an exiled militant group that opposes the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The social media large eliminated 128 Fb accounts, 41 pages, 21 teams and 146 Instagram accounts in March for violating its guidelines towards deceptive others about their identification and objective on behalf of a international entity. Fb stated it discovered “infrastructure connections” between pretend accounts and actual accounts of MEK-linked people and pages from Albania.
“These are a number of the hallmarks of a troll farm, a bodily location the place a collective of operators collectively handle a pool of faux accounts as a part of an affect operation,” stated Ben Nimmo, international IO risk intelligence lead at Fb throughout a press name.
The newest account takedowns underscore Fb’s ongoing battle with pretend accounts on its platform. The corporate has confronted extra strain to fight this downside after Russian trolls used pretend Fb accounts to sow discord amongst People in the course of the 2016 US presidential election.
The community of accounts primarily posted about Iranian occasions, praising MEK and criticizing the Iranian authorities. The Iranian opposition group, which was exiled to Albania, additionally shared hyperlinks to web sites and social media tied to MEK and commented on posts from information organizations. The pretend accounts used pretend profile photographs of Iranian celebrities, deceased dissidents, fashions and youngsters. Others used panorama photographs or AI-generated pretend photographs, Fb stated.
The operation did not entice a big following on the social community’s platforms, however tried to get individuals to go to web sites related to MEK. Most of those pretend accounts had been created between 2014 and 2016 and had been most exercise in 2017 and the second half of 2020, the social community stated. MEK did not instantly reply to a request for remark.
Fb shared the findings in a month-to-month report that outlines its most up-to-date account takedowns. The corporate eliminated 14 networks of accounts from 11 nations in March.