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Facebook Removes Thousands of Chinese Accounts Aimed at Influencing U.S. Elections and Politics

Social media giant Facebook has deactivated numerous fraudulent accounts originating from China in an attempt to influence U.S. politics and India-Tibet relations. The investigative report, released by Facebook’s parent company Meta, revealed that 4,789 bogus Facebook accounts targeting U.S. politics and another network of 13 accounts and seven groups focusing on India, Tibet, and the United States were shut down. Additionally, a network of fake Russian Facebook accounts was also eliminated.

According to the report, the accounts engaged in coordinated “inauthentic behavior,” with some posing as Americans and sharing links to articles from mainstream U.S. media outlets, including HuffPost, Breitbart, The Wall Street Journal, and Fox News. While the report did not directly attribute the activity to the Chinese government, it emphasized the importance of taking these actions seriously despite their current limited reach.

Meta’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, highlighted that the deactivation of the Chinese accounts positioned China as the third most common source of foreign coordinated inauthentic behavior campaigns, following Russia and Iran. This is in line with a report from the State Department Global Engagement Center, which stated that China invests “billions of dollars” annually to shape global public opinion.

The report also outlined how the Chinese accounts used various tactics to influence politics and perceptions of U.S.-China relations, including posing as Americans, copying content from other social media platforms, and engaging in divisive and false narratives. Moreover, it detailed the activities of the fraudulent Russian network, which included promoting official Kremlin themes and criticism of Western nations, particularly the United States and France.

Looking ahead, Meta expects foreign influence operations to intensify as the 2024 U.S. elections approach and highlighted the use of artificial intelligence in these operations as a new challenge that it is actively working to counter.

Focus keyword: Facebook Removes Chinese Accounts

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