Facebook has removed more than 1,150 counterfeit networks that have been coordinated since 2017, the report said. Twenty-seven networks are connected to Russia and 223 to Iran. Nine originated within the United States.
The United States is the primary target of foreign influence campaigns, according to a report by Facebook. Various sources have highlighted two such efforts from 2017 to 2020. (Ukraine has followed suit.)
Although it was the American domestic actors in the 2020 election season, not the foreign executives, who were increasingly responsible for sowing the seeds of disintegration. In the run-up to this election, Facebook removed many US networks as so-called coordinated unauthorized practices (CIBs) targeting the United States, such as Russian or Iranian networks, the company reported.
“Most notably, one of the CIB networks we found was run by Rally Forge, a US-based marketing firm that was working on behalf of its clients, including the Political Action Committee Turning Point USL.” “The campaign took advantage of the authentic community and recruited a staff of teenagers to run fake and fake accounts who were forced to comment on news pages and political actors as insecure voters.”
The search for those campaigns has put intense political and regulatory pressure on Big Tech and has repeatedly raised questions about the industry’s inconsistent power in politics and the wider economy. Many critics have since called for the disbandment of major tech companies and the law on how social media platforms mediate content on their websites.
Tech companies like Facebook have responded by placing more content moderators and establishing new platform policies on counterfeit activity.
In a separate announcement on Wednesday, Facebook said it was extending penalties to individual Facebook users, a fact frequently shared by partners investigating misinformation. Currently, when a user shares a post that contains debunk claims, Facebook’s algorithm demotes that post to its news feed, making it less visible to other users. But under Wednesday’s change, repeat offenders could risk putting all of their posts forward.
Facebook has repeatedly used blanket account-level demos on pages and groups that share frequently fact-checked misinformation, it says, but Wednesday’s announcement covers individual users for the first time. (Politicians’ account changes are not covered because political figures are exempt from Facebook’s fact-checking program.)
But while Facebook has improved its moderate efforts, many misunderstood secret writers have developed their own tactics, the report said. By creating more adaptive and targeted campaigns that could prevent them from outsourcing their campaigns to third parties, threat actors are trying to optimize Facebook’s enforcement in the more complex game of cat and mouse, the company said.