In total, Facebook removed 521 accounts, 72 Instagram accounts, 147 pages and 78 groups last month.
The social network provided further details on the three networks:
- Pakistan: 453 accounts, 103 pages, 78 groups and 107 Instagram accounts that operated out of Pakistan and targeted that country and India were removed. Facebook discovered this network as part of its internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region.
- Russia: 13 accounts and two pages linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency were taken down, with activity focused on Algeria, Egypt, the U.K., the U.S. and other English-speaking countries and countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
- U.S.: Facebook removed 55 accounts, 42 pages and 36 Instagram accounts linked to U.S.-based strategic communications firm CLS Strategies and focused primarily on Venezuela, but also on Bolivia and Mexico.
Facebook said in a Newsroom post, “Since 2017, we have removed over 100 networks worldwide for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior, including ahead of major democratic elections. The first network we took down was linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency, and so was the 100th we took down in August. In total, our team has found and removed about one-dozen deceptive campaigns connected to individuals associated with the IRA. Over the past three years, we have detected these efforts earlier and earlier in their operation, often stopping them before they were able to build their audience. With each takedown, threat actors lose their infrastructure across many platforms, forcing them to adjust their techniques and further reducing their ability to reconstitute and gain traction.”