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Facebook Removes ‘Inauthentic’ Networks From Palestine, Ukraine

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(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. removed nine new account networks in April that were trying to mislead users on the platform, including nearly 450 accounts from Palestine and a separate group of almost 500 accounts from Ukraine.

The social media giant took down almost 1,800 accounts in total last month from Facebook and Instagram as part of its effort to block “inauthentic” behavior, which typically involves users pretending to be someone else in order to sway public opinion, or accounts working together to amplify messages or political ideologies.

The network in Palestine, which targeted users in several Middle Eastern countries, promoted Fatah, a Palestinian political party, and criticized Iran and other political factions, Hamas and Hezbollah.

In Ukraine, Facebook removed more than 500 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to different politicians -- including some who had been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for efforts to influence U.S. elections. The networks posed as news organizations, sharing stories that supported the politicians and their political groups. These accounts were targeting messages to Ukrainian Facebook users, and the company said it was alerted to the network by a tip from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Facebook also removed networks last month from Peru, Mexico, Azerbaijan and the Central African Republic.

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