Facebook has taken down hundreds of accounts and pages after tracing them back to Russia's news agency.
The social media website said Thursday that it had removed 364 pages that were being run by a network originating in Russia and whose creators were engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior." Facebook says the pages, some of which were meant to look like independent news sources, were linked to employees of Sputnik, the news agency owned by the Russian government, who used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves.
"Some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption," Facebook says. Nearly 800,000 people followed these removed pages, which also spent more than $100,000 in advertising.
Additionally, Facebook says it uncovered a separate network of Ukrainian pages and accounts that also originated in Russia, with 26 pages being removed that were bolstered by fake accounts. "We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don't want our services to be used to manipulate people," Facebook said. Brendan Morrow