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Over 7,000 fraudulent pro-China propaganda accounts eliminated by Meta

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has recently made significant progress in taking down fake accounts on its platform. The company has shared details about a network of fake accounts that were spreading pro-China propaganda. These accounts were tied to individuals associated with Chinese law enforcement, who also operated similar fake accounts on other social media platforms.

In its latest takedown, Meta eliminated a total of 7,704 Facebook accounts, along with 954 Pages, 15 Groups, and 15 Instagram accounts. This network of fake accounts is one of the largest ever discovered by the company. Meta’s security researchers found several groups of fake accounts originating from different regions of China. The coordinated actions of these groups suggested that they might have been working together from a shared location, possibly an office.

These fake accounts followed a specific schedule, with the highest activity levels in the morning and afternoon, breaks for meals, and another burst of activity in the evening. They were essentially operating as full-time propagandists. Ben Nimmo, the head of global threat intelligence at Meta, described this operation as “the most prolific covert influence operation that we know of in the world today.” It is worth noting that the individuals managing these accounts were also active on other platforms like X, Reddit, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

The main objective of these fake accounts was to disseminate pro-China messages, including positive commentary about China, criticisms of the US, and Western foreign policies. Meta confirmed that these fake accounts were connected to a previous pro-China operation called Spamouflage, which first emerged in 2019.

Additionally, Meta disclosed its efforts to thwart malicious domains and the creation of fake accounts and Pages linked to the Russian Doppelganger operation. This operation seeks to mimic official news and government websites to spread false articles that undermine support for Ukraine. Initially focused on France, Germany, and Ukraine, this operation has now expanded its scope to include the US and Israel.

Meta’s continuous efforts to combat fake accounts and disinformation campaigns demonstrate its commitment to maintaining a safe and reliable social media platform. By proactively detecting and taking down these accounts, Meta contributes to the fight against misinformation and propaganda.

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