(February 1, 2019 / JNS) Facebook announced on Thursday that it has removed 783 “inauthentic” pages, groups and accounts tied to Iran designed to manipulate users in more than 20 countries, including Israel.
“This activity was directed from Iran, in some cases repurposing Iranian state media content, and engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting people across the world, although more heavily in the Middle East and South Asia,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, in a statement. “These were interconnected and localized operations, which used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.”
The Iranian operation dates back to as early as 2010, when there were 356 accounts, 262 pages and three groups on Facebook, in addition to 162 Instagram accounts, followed by around 2 million users.
In August, The Washington Post reported that Facebook traced the Iranian-linked groups through various forensic ways, including “searching publicly available website registration information, and tracking IP addresses and Facebook pages sharing the same administrators.”
The Islamic regime’s cyber mission has also included YouTube and Twitter, with the two companies deleting some of those accounts.