Facebook takes down Iranian media pages in continued war on alternative news

Facebook takes down Iranian media pages in continued war on alternative news
  • Clock-gray 02:30
  • calendar-gray 27 March 2019

Facebook has announced it’s taken down thousands of accounts in more of the same pursuit of so-called “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” The social media site said over 500 of the accounts were “tied to Iran” and was a continuation of a previous probe, despite Facebook’s security head having admitted he can’t actually tie any of it to Iran, ONAreports citing Sputniknews.

On Tuesday, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, posted on the social media company's blog that the site had "removed 2,632 Pages, Groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram," noting they were "connected to Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo" but that they didn't believe the networks or their operations to be connected.

Of those, 513 pages, groups and accounts were accused by Facebook of being "part of multiple networks tied to Iran," noting that they "identified some of these activities through our follow-on investigation into Iran-linked coordinated inauthentic behavior that we found and removed earlier this year."

The pages "operated in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kashmir, Kazakhstan or broadly across the Middle East and North Africa." Facebook says the page admins and account owners "represented themselves as locals and made-up media entities, often using fake accounts — and they impersonated real political groups and media organizations" to post content about topics including sanctions against Iran, tensions between India and Pakistan, the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Islamic religious issues, Indian politics, and the crisis in Venezuela.

Faiq Mahmudov

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