Facebook is blocking Russian propaganda from its site.
- Meta Platforms has blocked thousands of accounts, pages, and groups it has deemed “inauthentic” from both of its platforms Facebook and Instagram.
- The groups originated in Russia and have spread propaganda about the country’s ongoing war with Ukraine.
- The inauthentic groups spent more than $100,000 on Facebook and Instagram ads in order to spread the information on the platforms.
Why it’s news
The network of accounts, which started in May, “criticized Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees, praised Russia and argued that Western sanctions on Russia would backfire,” the social-media giant announced today.
The group behind the accounts created 60 websites “carefully impersonating legitimate news organizations in Europe,” Meta says.
Meta has been working hard to eliminate propaganda and misinformation on its platforms and blocking these Russian sanctioned groups was a good step.
The Russian group had been actively spreading false information on Facebook and other platforms and had even been paying the services to promote it. Meta as a whole made around around $105,000 in advertising revenue from the ads, executives say.
The money will not be returned to the groups, instead it will be used to pay for Meta’s growing security measures.
The company also removed a much smaller network of accounts originating in China. That group targeted US users, people in the Czech Republic, and some other Chinese- and French-speaking audiences. The campaign had far less scope—fewer than 100 total accounts, pages and groups—and persuaded fewer than 300 total users to follow them, reports Bloomberg writer Kurt Wagner.
Meta will continue to monitor and eliminate accounts as the company has a firm policy that will shut down accounts or pages that are used in order to mislead others about who is operating them or to promote false information.