Meta removes network of thousands of fake accounts based in China

The China-based network has over 4,700 accounts and cloned profile images and identities from other individuals throughout the world.

San Francisco: Meta (formerly Facebook) has said that it recently took down a network of thousands of fake and misleading accounts based in China.

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The users pretended to be Americans and attempted to promote divisive content about the US politics and the US-China ties. Abortion, culture war issues, and help to Ukraine were among the topics covered by the network, reports BBC.

The identities were not linked to Beijing officials, but there has been a rise in such networks based in China ahead of the 2024 US elections.

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According to the company, China is now the third-largest geographical source of such networks, trailing only Russia and Iran.

The recent takedowns were outlined in a quarterly threat report released on Thursday by Meta.

The China-based network has over 4,700 accounts and cloned profile images and identities from other individuals throughout the world.

The identities liked and shared each other’s tweets, and some of the content appeared to be straight copied from X (formerly Twitter), the report said.

In one of the examples provided by Meta, a user on the China-based network copied the comments from a tweet sent earlier this year by Democrat Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia. She slammed Texas’ abortion laws, writing, “Let’s remember — abortion is healthcare”.

However, another network account copied and pasted a tweet from Republican Representative Ronny Jackson, who wrote: “Taxpayer dollars should NEVER fund travel for abortions”.

“It’s unclear whether this approach was designed to amplify partisan tensions, build audiences among these politicians’ supporters, or to make fake accounts sharing authentic content appear more genuine,” Meta stated.

The company also discovered two smaller networks, one in China focused on India and Tibet and one in Russia focused on the invasion of Ukraine and supported Telegram channels.

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