Facebook Removed 9 Networks in July for Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior

798 accounts, 259 Instagram accounts, 669 pages, 69 groups

An example of content removed by Facebook in July Facebook

Facebook released its coordinated inauthentic behavior report for July 2020, saying that it removed nine networks of accounts, pages and groups.

The social network said in a Newsroom post that it removed a total of 798 accounts in July, as well as 259 Instagram accounts, 669 pages and 69 groups.

Facebook shared details on the nine networks it removed.

  • Brazil: Initially detailed last month, Facebook removed 33 accounts, 14 pages, one group and 37 Instagram accounts focused on domestic audiences, and its investigation found links to individuals associated with the Social Liberal Party and some of the employees of the offices of Anderson Moraes, Alana Passos, Eduardo Bolsonaro, Flavio Bolsonaro and Jair Bolsonaro.
  • Canada and Ecuador: Initially detailed last month, the social network removed 38 accounts, 76 pages and 55 Instagram accounts originating in those two countries and focused on Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela. Facebook’s investigation found links to political consultants and former government employees in Ecuador and Canadian public-relations firm Estraterra, which is now banned from its platform.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: 66 accounts, 63 pages five groups and 25 Instagram accounts focused on domestic audiences, linked to political party Force des Patriotes.
  • Global: 303 accounts, 181 pages, 44 groups and 31 Instagram accounts, with Facebook saying the network operated in many regions around the world, including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Taiwan, the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam. The social network said English- and Chinese-speaking audiences globally and in Vietnam were the primary targets, adding that its investigation linked the network to digital media outlet Truthmedia, which is now banned from its platform.
  • Iraq and Switzerland: 135 accounts, 222 pages, four groups and one Instagram account, originating in Iraq and Switzerland and focused on the former. Facebook said its investigation linked this network to individuals in Iraq and individuals in Switzerland associated with non-governmental organization called Al-Rafidain International Center for Justice and Human Rights.
  • Romania: 35 accounts, three pages and 88 Instagram accounts originating in Romania and focused on the U.S.
  • Ukraine: Initially detailed last month, the social network removed 65 accounts, 32 pages and eight Instagram accounts focused on domestic audiences and linked to Ukraine advertising agency Postmen DA.
  • U.S.: Initially detailed last month, Facebook removed 54 accounts, 50 pages and four Instagram accounts focused on domestic audiences and discovered as part of an investigation into the Proud Boys’ attempts to return to its platform. This network was linked to conservative political consultant Roger Stone and his associates.
  • Yemen: 69 accounts, 28 pages, 15 groups and 10 Instagram accounts focused on domestic audiences.

Facebook wrote in its Newsroom post, “We’ve seen and taken action against domestic political figures using coordinated inauthentic behavior in the past, and we know they will continue to attempt to deceive and mislead people. Domestic campaigns like these raise a particularly complex challenge by blurring the line between healthy public debate and manipulation. Our teams will continue to find, remove and expose these coordinated manipulation campaigns, but we know these threats extend beyond our platform and no single organization can tackle them alone. That’s why it’s critical that we, as a society, have a broader discussion about what is acceptable political advocacy and take steps to deter people from crossing the line.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.