Social networking giant Facebook said that it has removed 155 accounts linked to the Philippines and China for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’.
The accounts violated its policy against foreign or government interference. Activity on the suspended accounts are reportedly linked to government entities in the Philippines and China.
Facebook cracksdown on fakes
In a latest post on Facebook’s news site, the company said that the accounts posed as locals in the Philippines and China.
The domestic networks had a combined total of 276,000 followers on Facebook and 5,500 followers on Instagram.
Writing in Tagalog, English and Chinese, the fake accounts shared content on Beijing’s interest in the South China Sea, the Hong Kong protests, President Roderigo Durerte and his daughter Sarah Duterte’s potential run in the country’s 2022 election, and criticism of Rappler, an independent news organisation in the Philippines.
Facebook found the dissemination of content in Chinese originated from a network based in the Fujian province of China. Filipino content was linked to the Philippine military and police.
And in a separate investigation into the Philippines domestic networks, an additional 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages and 20 Instagram accounts were taken down.
Facebook’s Head of Cybersecurity Policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, added the Filipino accounts also posted about ‘domestic politics, the military’s activity against terrorism, the draft of the pending anti-terrorism bill, criticism of communism, youth activists and the opposition, criticism of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military wing the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines’.
Facebook’s investigation into China is launched as part of its internal investigation into attempted political interference in the region, whereas its probe into the Philippines’ cyberspace was prompted after a portion of this network was brought to their attention by independent news organisation Rappler.
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