Facebook revealed Thursday that it has removed more pages related to Iran and Russia “for unauthentic behavior coordinated on Facebook and Instagram”.
Most examples of Facebook offers come from Iran, but some campaigns come from Russian actors. However, it was distinct campaigns and, although it is easy to associate Iran with Russia, Facebook has not identified any correlation between the two.
“However, they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to deceive others about who they were and what they did,” says Facebook in a detailed blog post.
The company also explained the type of action to take and how it decides to remove bad actors. Rather than ban them immediately, Facebook studies the opponents, examining the complexity of their attacks to understand how to mitigate the problem and avoid future events. This is why Facebook can spend months reviewing some of the suspicious pages and accounts before deleting them.
Facebook has reported working with other technology companies, academic researchers and law enforcement officials to deal with cyber threats.
Facebook has removed 652 pages, groups and accounts “for coordinated unauthentic behavior originating in Iran and targeting people belonging to several Internet services in the Middle East, Latin America, the United Kingdom and the United States.” In addition to spreading fake news, some of these Facebook properties have engaged in “traditional cybersecurity attacks,” including hacking attempts and spreading malware.
The company has also removed an undetermined number of pages, groups, and accounts “possibly linked to sources that the US government previously identified as Russian military intelligence services”. In addition, Facebook says we are looking at some of the same bad actors removed before the 2016 elections. Recent activity focuses on politics in Syria and Ukraine.