Facebook removes ‘coordinated’ accounts
ANKARA: Social media giant Facebook Friday removed 211 accounts, 107 pages, 43 groups and 87 Instagram accounts for “engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior” that originated in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Nigeria.
Citing the use of fake accounts by networks to disseminate their content and artificially increase engagement, Facebook in a statement said the coordinated networks primarily posted videos, photos and web links to promote the UAE, the country’s activity in Yemen, and criticism of Qatar, Turkey, and Iran.
Facebook’s “investigation found links to three marketing firms Charles Communications in UAE, MintReach in Nigeria and Flexell in Egypt,” it said. Most of the accounts that were shut down engaged in defaming Turkey and Qatar as well as other Sunni Muslim movements and figures in the region like the Muslim Brotherhood and its spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
The investigation “found links to an Egyptian newspaper El Fagr” behind the politically motivated social media campaign. The UAE is a tiny state in the Gulf with a population of less than 10 million, only one-tenth of whom are UAE citizens, while the rest are expatriates. Recently, another social media platform, Twitter, shut down thousands of accounts in the UAE and Egypt for similar reasons. (AA)