Meta shut down a disinformation campaign tied to Chinese law enforcement


Share post:

A massive social media disinformation campaign linked to Chinese law enforcement is no more, according to Meta.

In its latest report on what Facebook and Instagram’s parent company calls “coordinated inauthentic behavior” — usually covert state-sponsored social media campaigns designed to shape public opinion — Meta detailed the discovery of a huge network of fake accounts, pages and groups pushing positive talking points about China. On Facebook alone, Meta removed 7,704 accounts, 954 pages and 15 groups linked to the disinformation operation.

According to the report, the activity amounted to “what appears to be the largest known cross-platform covert influence operation in the world.” The campaign wasn’t limited to Facebook and Instagram, with a footprint that touched 50 other platforms including X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, Pinterest, Medium and many other smaller sites.

“This network typically posted positive commentary about China and its province Xinjiang and criticisms of the United States, Western foreign policies, and critics of the Chinese government including journalists and researchers,” Meta’s researchers wrote.

While such a large disinformation campaign is alarming, this particular effort didn’t gain much traction in spite of its size. The activity was based in China but sought to influence Chinese speakers outside of China as well as target audiences in Taiwan, the United States, Australia, the UK and Japan. In the process, the campaign took over Facebook pages known for posting spam, but these accounts were characterized by fake engagement originating in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Brazil, not the disinformation network’s intended targets.

In spite of its size, the influence campaign’s clumsy efforts didn’t result in much success:

“Despite the very large number of accounts and platforms it used, Spamouflage consistently struggled to reach beyond its own (fake) echo chamber. Many comments on Spamouflage posts that we have observed came from other Spamouflage accounts trying to make it look like they were more popular than they were. Only a few instances have been reported when Spamouflage content on Twitter and YouTube was amplified by real-world influencers, so it is important to keep reporting and taking action against these attempts while realizing that its overall ability to reach authentic audiences has been consistently very low.”

Researchers were able to connect the campaign to “Spamouflage,” a known China-based campaign operating for years now. While Meta is generally careful about ascribing influence campaigns to governments, the company did not hesitate to state that this one has firm ties to Chinese law enforcement.

Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

Your website can now opt out of training Google’s Bard and future AIs

Large language models are trained on all kinds of data, most of which it seems was collected...

Apple asks the Supreme Court to reconsider a previous ruling in Epic’s favor

Apple has asked the Supreme Court to reconsider a previous ruling in its fight against Epic Games...

Medium hints at a nascent media coalition to block AI crawlers

Web publishing platform Medium has announced that it will block OpenAI’s GPTBot, an agent that scrapes web...

The generative AI boom could make the OS cool again

What products and services will benefit the most from recent developments in AI technology? We’re keeping close...

Artifact co-founder Mike Krieger says there’s a ‘flavor’ of Twitter in app’s latest release

The AI-powered news reading app Artifact, built by Instagram’s co-founders, has been transforming itself into a more...

Fortnite maker Epic Games is laying off 16% of its workforce

Epic Games is laying off 16% percent of its employees, impacting about 900 people, the company has...

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd shares how AI will ‘supercharge’ love and relathionships

Bumble, Inc. CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd believes the power of AI technology will lead to a better...

Publisher-focused Twitter alternative Post comes to Android, adds newsletter support

Post, a publisher-focused Twitter/X alternative backed by a16z, is bringing its social news-sharing app to Android today...