Fake Accounts, Pages, Groups that Originated in PH, Removed by Facebook for Violating their Policy

Facebook has recently removed two (2) networks for violating their policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB). On September 22, 2020, Nathaniel Gleicher, the Head of Security Policy of Facebook, stated that one of the networks which have been taken down originated in our country, the Philippines. The other one, on the other hand, originated from China.

“In each case, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts as a central part of their operations to mislead people about who they are and what they are doing, and that was the basis for our action. When we investigate and remove these operations, we focus on behavior rather than content, no matter who’s behind them, what they post, or whether they’re foreign or domestic.”

– Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Security Policy, Facebook, September 22, 2020

The Network Originated in PH

For violating Facebook’s policy against foreign or government interference which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government entity, the company has removed 57 Facebook accounts, 31 Pages, and 20 Instagram accounts. The network focused on domestic audiences and it originated in the Philippines.

The full scope of this activity has been found by Facebook after investigating information about a portion of the said network. Based on the company’s investigation, they found links to the Philippine military and Philippine police.

Here are some other details provided by Facebook:

  • Several clusters of connected activity that relied on the following:
    • Fake accounts
    • Post content
    • Comment
    • Manage Pages
  • The operation has accelerated between 2019 and 2020
  • They posted in Filipino and English about local news and events including the following:
    • Domestic politics
    • Military activities against terrorism
    • Pending anti-terrorism bill
    • Criticism of communism
    • Youth activists and opposition
    • The Communist Party of the Philippines
    • New People’s Army
    • National Democratic Front of the Philippines

The Network Originated in China

The activity that originated in China, on the other hand, focused primarily on the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and also even in the United States. 155 accounts, 11 Pages, 9 Groups, and 6 Instagram accounts were removed for violating Facebook’s policy.

Facebook’s investigation found links of this activity to individuals in the Fujian province of China.

Here some other details provided by Facebook:

  • Several clusters of connected activity that relied on the following:
    • Fake accounts to pose as locals in countries they targeted
    • Post in Groups
    • Amplify their own content
    • Manage Pages
    • Like and comment on other people’s posts
      • Particularly about naval activity in the South China Sea, including US Navy ships

  • In Southeast Asia where this network focused most of its activity, they posted in Chinese, Filipino, and English about the following:
    • Global news and current events including Beijing’s interests in the South China Sea
    • Hong Kong
    • Content supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte and Sarah Duterte’s potential run in the 2022 Presidential election
    • Criticism of Rappler
    • Issues relevant to overseas Filipino workers;
    • Praise and some criticism of China

Source: Facebook Newsroom

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