The company said on Thursday that Facebook had shut down a network of hundreds of fake accounts and pages targeting Ukrainians and linked to individuals who had previously been sanctioned by the United States for their efforts to intervene in the U.S. election.

Facebook stated that the network has conducted long-term deceptive activities on multiple social media platforms and other websites, posing as independent news media, and promoting favorable content about Ukrainian politicians, including possible recruitment activities. The company said it started an investigation after the FBI issued a reminder.

Facebook attributed the activity to individuals and entities approved by the US Treasury Department, including politician Andriy Derkach (Andriy Derkach), a pro-Russian lawmaker, for allegedly interfering in President Joe Biden’s The accusations in the 2020 US general election were blacklisted by the US government in September. Facebook said it deleted Derkach’s account in October 2020.

Del Kah told Reuters that he will comment on Facebook’s investigation on Friday.

Facebook also attributed the network to political advisers associated with Ukrainian politician Oleh Kulinich and former Ukrainian prime minister Volodymyr Groysman. Kulinich did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Groysman could not be reached immediately for comment.

Facebook said that in addition to promoting these politicians, the network also promoted positive materials about participants in the political field, which is likely to be a paid service​​. It said that the activities it investigated began around 2015, concentrated only in Ukraine, and published anti-Russian content.

In an interview with reporters, Ben Nimmo, the head of threat intelligence for Facebook’s global influence operations, said: “You can really treat these operators as potential mercenaries, renting unreliable online support in Ukrainian politics. “

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Facebook’s investigation team stated that Ukraine has been one of the main sources for removing “coordination of untrue acts” from the site, while Ukraine has an increasing number of locations for influential sales services.

Facebook said it deleted 363 pages from the network due to violation of its rules, and subsequently deleted approximately 2.37 million accounts and 477 accounts. Facebook also said that the network also spent approximately US$496,000 (approximately Rs 3,64,92,900) on Facebook and Instagram ads.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©


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