Meta’s ‘biggest single takedown’ saw removal of 7,704 Facebook accounts

Meta’s ‘biggest single takedown’ aimed at the Chinese Influence Campaign, resulted in the removal of 7,704 Facebook accounts, 954 Facebook pages, 15 Facebook groups and 15 Instagram accounts tied to the Chinese campaign, as per The New York Times.

An article was published on February 27 claiming that the United States was behind the bombing of the Nord Stream underwater pipelines in the Baltic Sea. The article was published on the Substack and Blogspot blogging platforms.

Within 24 hours, the article – and other versions of it – had been posted to more websites, including Reddit, Medium, Tumblr, Facebook and YouTube. Translations of the article in Greek, German, Russian, Italian and Turkish also began appearing online.

As per The New York Times, the posts were part of a Chinese influence campaign that stands out as the largest such operation to date, researchers at Meta said in a report on Tuesday.

Meta said that the effort, which the company said had started with Chinese law enforcement and was discovered in 2019, was aimed at advancing China’s interests and discrediting its adversaries, such as the United States.

Hundreds of other accounts on TikTok, X, LiveJournal and Blogspot also participated in the campaign, which researchers named Spamouflage, for the frequent posting of spamlike messages, according to Meta’s report.

Head of Meta’s security team that looks at global threats, Ben Nimmo, said: “This is the biggest single takedown of a single network we have ever conducted. When you put it together with all the activity we took down across the internet, we concluded it is the largest covert campaign that we know of today.”

The Chinese campaign struggled to reach people and attract attention, Nimmo said. Some posts were riddled with spelling errors and poor grammar, while others were incongruent, such as random links under Quora articles that people could see had nothing to do with the subject being discussed, as per The New York Times.

Yet the operation is being disclosed at a delicate time in the relationship between the United States and China. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is in China this week to talk with government officials and Chinese business leaders about trade relations. She is the fourth senior US official to travel to China in less than three months.

The influence operation was the seventh from China that Meta has removed in the last six years. Four of them were found in the last year, said the company, which published details of the new operation as part of a quarterly security report, according to The New York Times.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz