Meta says has removed hundreds of fake Facebook, Instagram accounts from Malaysian ‘troll factory’ allegedly linked to govt and police

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5th August 2022 – (Kuala Lumpur) According to The Malay Mail,Meta, the parent company which owns Facebook and Instagram, said in a recent report that it had identified and removed 596 Facebook accounts, 180 pages, 11 groups and 72 Instagram accounts across all its social network platforms for violating the policy against “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”, with most of them alleged to be part of a to corrupt or manipulate public discourse using fake accounts. The accounts were allegedly linked to the present government coalition and also police. The accounts utilised stolen profile pictures and they were used to share posts to criticise and smear the opposition.

The bogus pages and accounts were said to have some 427,000 followers, while 4,000 accounts joined one or more of these groups and about 15,000 accounts followed one or more of these Instagram accounts. Many of these accounts were also said to have spent up to US$6,000 for promotional ads on Facebook and Instagram. Meta described “Inauthentic behaviour (IB)” as an effort to mislead people or Facebook about the popularity of content, the goal of a community through groups, pages, events or the identity of the people behind it.

Meta’s quarterly public threat reporting began about five years ago when it first shared findings about purported coordinated CIB by a Russian influence operation. Since then, the company said it has expanded its ability to respond to a wider range of what it termed “adversarial behaviours”.

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