A major Facebook misinformation campaign targeting eight African countries has been initiated from Russia, the social network says.
Concerned accounts, pages and groups on Facebook and Instagram were linked “to entities associated” with Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a close associate of the Russian president. Facebook says it has deleted the accounts created for this campaign.
In total, Facebook has removed 35 accounts, 53 pages, 7 groups. Instagram, an application that belongs to Facebook, has removed five accounts from its network. Some 475,000 users followed the offending accounts. On these groups or pages created from Russia circulated contents that were adapted to each country.
All this information was destined for certain African countries. Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Madagascar, Mozambique, Central Africa, Cameroon, Sudan and Libya were targeted.
“Each of these operations was designed to create networks of accounts to deceive others about who they were and what they were doing, although the people behind these networks tried to conceal their identity and coordination, Investigation linked these accounts to entities associated with Russian financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who has already been indicted by the US Department of Justice,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Facebook’s cybersecurity policy.