Facebook removes 783 fake pages, accounts tied to Iran

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook said it has removed 783 Iran-linked pages, accounts and groups from its service for what it calls “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”. That’s the social network’s term for fake accounts run with the intent of disrupting politics and elections.

Facebook has been disclosing such purges more regularly in recent months, including ones linked to groups in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Russia.

The accounts on Facebook and Instagram typically misrepresented themselves as locals in more than two dozen countries ranging from Afghanistan, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia and the United States (US).

Facebook said on Thursday the accounts spent about USD30,000 on advertisements, paid for in US dollars, British pounds, Canadian dollars and euros.

The company said Twitter helped its investigation by sharing information about suspicious activity it found on its own service. The companies, along with others in the tech industry, have been cooperating more when it comes to such account takedowns by sharing information.

Such cooperation can help the companies avoid regulatory scrutiny by showing critics and lawmakers that they can set aside differences when it comes to battling outside threats that affect their users.

File photo shows the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. – AP