Fake disinformation accounts in Africa linked to the French army closed by Facebook

Fake disinformation accounts in Africa linked to the French army closed by Facebook

N Melo
by N Melo
December 16, 2020 0

Fake disinformation accounts in Africa linked to the French army closed by Facebook

Three networks, including one linked to the French army, were closed by Facebook. They are accused of carrying out interference operations in Africa.

Facebook announced on Tuesday that it had removed three networks, including one linked to the French military, accused of carrying out interference operations in Africa. According to the social networks they were managed from France and Russia.

Two networks of accounts were assigned to people associated with the Russian Internet Research Agency and a third was found to have “links with people associated with the French military,” Facebook says.

Asked by AFP, the French staff did not immediately react.

These networks targeted countries in northern Africa and the Near East. Within each of them, the participants used fake profiles, which led Facebook to take action.

All three campaigns were suppressed because they violated the social network’s policy which prohibits “coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign government,” said Facebook’s security policy official Nathaniel Gleicher and chief from the Global Threat Disruption Team, David Agranovich in a blog post.

The France-based network targeted the Central African Republic and Mali
Regarding the network based in France, it mainly targeted the Central African Republic and Mali, and to a lesser extent Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Chad, Facebook specifies.

Giving voice to false inhabitants of these countries, these accounts commented, for example, on French policy on the spot, or expressed support for the French army.

Facebook specifies having, in the French case, deleted 84 accounts, six pages, nine groups as well as 16 Instagram accounts.

“Although the people behind this tried to hide their identity and coordinated character, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the French military,” Facebook said in its statement.
On these accounts, were posted in French and Arabic information on current events evoking “the policy of France in French-speaking Africa, the security situation in various African countries, allegations of possible interference by Russia in the elections in the Republic. Central African Republic and comments favorable to the French army, ”added Facebook.

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