Facebook Removes Chinese Propaganda Network Trying To Influence US Presidential Election

Facebook Inc FB said Tuesday it removed a network of fake accounts that spread propaganda and disinformation on China’s claims over the South China Sea and surrounding geography in the United States and Southeast Asia.

What Happened: The fake accounts were also engaged in disseminating messages both in favor of and against President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden, as well as former Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg, Facebook said in a statement, first spotted on TechCrunch

The Menlo Park, California-based social network giant said it removed 155 accounts, 11 pages, 9 groups, and 6 Instagram accounts for violating its policies against foreign or government interference. It said the activity originated in China.

The investigation was led by Graphika Inc., a company that specializes in analyzing disinformation, which released a report on the network’s titled “Operation Naval Gazing.”

The fake accounts used pictures stolen from authentic individuals or used artificial-intelligence generated photos, according to Graphika.

Why It Matters: Graphika said that the network’s activity was “relatively limited,” with only 4,300 posts made since it was created.

This month, both Facebook and Twitter Inc TWTR took down Russian accounts that were trying to steer away Biden’s left-wing voters and influence the upcoming presidential elections.

Last month, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company said it acted against both QAnon and Antifa movements which it said “celebrated” violent acts. 

Twitter had also removed 7,000 accounts related to QAnon.

Price Action: Facebook shares closed nearly 2.7% higher at $254.75 on Monday and fell almost 0.3% in the after-hours session.

Posted In: 2020 presidential electionChinaDonald TrumpFake NewsJoe Bidensocial mediaNewsGlobalTechMedia