Facebook and Twitter 'dismantle Russian network'

02 Septembre, 2020, 18:06 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Facebook and Twitter 'dismantle Russian network'

The network included 13 accounts and two pages, and just 5% of the English-language content it created was targeted at U.S. users, Gleicher said.

Russia's IRA was the main group behind a concerted effort to influence the 2016 USA election on Facebook, though its efforts during that campaign cycle went undetected until 2017, and reached tens of millions of users.

Oakland: Facebook said Tuesday that it removed a small network of accounts and pages linked to Russia's Internet Research Agency, the "troll factory" that has used social media accounts to sow political discord in the United States since the 2016 presidential election.

"We began this investigation based on information about this network's off-platform activity from the FBI".

The operation centred around PeaceData, which claimed to be a non-profit news website in English and Arabic. "This activity focused primarily on the US, UK, Algeria and Egypt, in addition to other English-speaking countries and countries in the Middle East and North Africa", said the company in its latest report on coordinated inauthentic behaviour. "Our internal investigation revealed the full scope of this network on Facebook", the company added.

Twitter similarly announced Tuesday it had suspended five accounts related to Peace Data.

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While the network removed in August didn't gain much traction on Facebook, the group did trick a number of "unwitting freelancers" into writing stories for a news website the IRA created, later sharing the stories on social media, Gleicher said.

It added that the content created by the accounts was "low quality and spammy, and most Tweets from these accounts received few, if any, Likes or Retweets". "The accounts achieved little impact", Twitter posted from a company account. Researchers said the website publishes news stories meant to appeal to a left-wing audience, authored by a mixture of fake names and real Western journalists recruited on websites that connect employers with freelance workers.

Twitter is blocking links to content from the PeaceData website, which could still be accessed online Tuesday.

Online campaigns aiming to manipulate users and spread disinformation have often used stock photos or images of other people to build fake profiles.

Another network Facebook removed was based in the US and was linked to a firm called CLS Strategies, which, according to its website, offers public relations, worldwide relations, crisis and litigation, and digital services.

"This is the first time we have observed known [Internet Research Agency-linked] accounts use AI-generated avatars", wrote the Graphika team. But it's not hard to artificially elevate trends. "It works by detecting the blending boundary of the deepfake and subtle fading or greyscale elements that might not be detectable by the human eye", Microsoft explained.

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