This week, Facebook released a new report detailing how coordinated inauthentic behavior campaigns have grown on the platform over the past several years. Perhaps not surprisingly, the study found that the U.S. is the most frequent target of these foreign influence operations.
While Facebook said that Iran and Russia remain the leading source for these shady campaigns, the social media giant also said that PR firms, media sites and other domestic actors are also heavily involved. According to the company, there’s a simple reason for this: the opportunity to profit.
“I actually think the majority of what we’re seeing here, these aren’t actors that are motivated by politics. In terms of volume, a lot of this is actors that are motivated by money,” Facebook’s head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher told reporters. “They’re scammers, they’re fraudsters, they’re PR or marketing firms that are looking to make a business around deception.”
It’s not surprising that cybercriminals both in the U.S. and abroad are attempting to cash in on spam and misinformation. And while Facebook should be commended for honestly revealing the scope of the problem, the platform also must take stronger action to address the actual roots of it.
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