Facebook Closes Fake Accounts Interfering in Africa

Facebook said on Tuesday it had removed three managed networks from Russia and France, including one linked to the French military, and accused of carrying out interference operations in Africa.

Two networks of accounts have been attributed to people associated with the Russian Internet Research Agency and a third was found to have “links to people associated with the French military,” Facebook claims.

These networks targeted countries in northern Africa and the Middle East. Within each of them, the participants were using fake profiles, which prompted Facebook to take action.

All three campaigns were suppressed because they violated the social network’s policy which prohibits “coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign government,” said Facebook’s security policy official Nathaniel Gleicher and chief from the Global Threat Disruption Team, David Agranovich in a blog post.

Regarding the network based in France, it mainly targeted the Central African Republic and Mali, and to a lesser extent Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Chad, specifies Facebook, which adds to have found “links with individuals associated with the French army”.

Giving voice to false inhabitants of these countries, these accounts commented, for example, on French policy on the spot, or expressed support for the French army.

Facebook specifies having, in the French case, deleted 84 accounts, six pages, nine groups as well as 16 Instagram accounts.

“Although the people behind this tried to hide their identity and coordinated character, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the French military,” Facebook said in its statement.

On these accounts, were posted in French and Arabic information on current events evoking “the policy of France in French-speaking Africa, the security situation in various African countries, allegations of possible interference by Russia in the elections in the Republic.

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