Facebook was in news now-a-days for removing three networks of fake accounts last month located in Russia, Pakistan, and the United States as it seeks to combat “influence operations” on its platform.
The people behind the network was associated with “Truth Media”, a multinational brand that operates in Chinese, English, Vietnamese and other languages and offers “the light of truth” in its reporting. The network on Facebook was particularly active in Chinese and English, with smaller numbers of assets in Vietnamese and Indonesian. It used fake accounts, often with profile pictures that appeared to be stock photos, to promote content from its main pages.
Few days back, Facebook suspended 103 Pages, 78 Groups, 453 Facebook accounts, and 107 Instagram accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior. As it notes in its takedown report, Facebook attributed this network to individuals in Pakistan. Facebook shared a portion of this network with the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) on August 28.
The report highlights how social media accounts that originated in Pakistan posted pro-Pakistan, pro-Islam propaganda on social media platforms. In addition to that, these Pakistani accounts targeted Indian government by peddling false narratives against India.
The report also stated that these social media groups also resorted to mass reporting of social media accounts. These networks operated, with Group and Page administrators who mobilized social media users to report accounts that were critical of Islam or the Pakistani military/government.
According to Digital Forensic Research Lab, that network “represented a significant influence operation, apparently aimed at boosting support for the army inside Pakistan and boosting support for Pakistan abroad.”
According to the investigation Pakistani politicians work directly with prominent social media trolls to get pro-Pakistan hashtags trending on Twitter.
The SIO report also noted “the repeated invoking of duty towards religion and nation for mass reporting”.
Meanwhile, India has responded to the dirty tricks played by the Pakistani establishment to indulge in a false social media propaganda. On Wednesday, India accused Pakistan of propagating fake news through social media platforms.
Social media was effectively for sharing popular public opinion but same was used for misinformation. In such a scenario some effective steps are taken by social media giants to curtail such harmful activities for maintain social media decorum.