Facebook removed yet another network of fake accounts this week that were using “deceptive tactics” to infiltrate Facebook Groups, as well as targeting users on Instagram. The company said that it discovered two unconnected operations in Russia that were using similar methods to spread disinformation.
As part of its purge, Facebook says that it has so far removed 118 total Facebook pages, accounts and groups (plus Instagram accounts) that were involved in the shady cyber-behavior. According to the social media giant, these accounts and pages “engaged in a number of deceptive tactics, including the use of fake accounts to join Groups, impersonate other users and to amplify allegations about a public figure working on behalf of intelligence services.”
Interestingly, Facebook would not identify the public figure in question, telling CNN Business that doing so would only amplify the malicious content that the account was promoting.
It’s good that Facebook caught these bad actors before they could do too much damage, but the entire situation is a stark reminder to use caution when interacting with unfamiliar accounts on the platform. You never know who may be behind a friend request — or what they hope to gain by connecting with you.
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