Facebook announced on Tuesday that over 1,100 accounts were removed from the platform in March due to spreading deceptive content. The accounts were removed as part of Facebook’s continued efforts to eliminate domestic and international disinformation.
Facebook reported that roughly 300 Instagram accounts, 250 Facebook pages, and 34 Facebook groups were also removed. These accounts were all connected to 14 coordinated influence operations.
These 14 groups are based worldwide, including five groups in Mexico and groups from Israel, Georgia, Benin, and Comoros. One Israel-based network targeted Iranian audiences. The groups in Spain, Argentina, Iran, and Albania targeted people in other countries.
We’re constantly working to find and stop coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate across our apps,” Said Facebook researchers in a blog post.
Facebook described one of the operations as an Albanian “Troll Farm” with ties to an exiled militant opposition group targeting Iran. Many accounts and pages used profile pictures that were generated using machine learning to create fake faces.
“We know that influence operations will keep evolving in response to our enforcement, and new deceptive behaviors will emerge,” the Facebook researchers wrote. “We will continue to refine our enforcement and share our findings publicly.”
Facebook now releases a report at the start of the month detailing accounts and pages removed due to deceptive content. The company previously announced it removed a network of fake accounts based in Iran targeting Israeli protestors. Facebook noted the threat actor behind these accounts has continually attempted to regain a foothold on the platform, but that Facebook are determined to continue disrupting the group.