Facebook suspends 453 accounts spreading fake news with anti-India propaganda

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 02, 2020, 03.24 PM(IST)

Facebook Photograph:( AFP )

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In addition to Pakistan's fake accounts, Facebook also removed 13 accounts and two pages related to Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA)

Facebook has suspended more than 450 Facebook accounts that were caught spreading fake news and anti-India propaganda.

In total, 453 Facebook accounts, 103 Facebook pages, 78 groups, and 107 Instagram accounts were spotted and suspended. All these accounts were, reportedly, operating from Pakistan, but claimed to be operating from India to gain trust of the followers.

These accounts were spreading fake news against India, Indian Military and minority communities in Pakistan. The content was being circulated mainly in forms of memes. The content talked about fake policies and criticised India's actions towards Pakistan and China.

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"We found this network as part of our internal investigation into suspected coordination inauthentic behaviour in the region," Stanford Internet Observatory, who published the report, said.

"The network appears to have primarily targeted Pakistanis and Indians; posts were in Urdu, Hindi, English, and Punjabi. Facebook reports that 70,000 accounts followed at least one of the Pages and 1.1 million users belonged to the Groups," it added.

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In addition to Pakistan's fake accounts, Facebook also removed 13 accounts and two pages related to Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA). Nearly 55 accounts, 42 pages and 36 Instagram accounts were also suspended in the US for spreading fake news.

Meanwhile, Indian Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on September 1 asking about Facebook being used for circulating hate-posts using political bias.

“I’ve been informed that in run up to 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, there was concerted effort by Facebook India to not just delete pages or substantially reduce their reach but also offer no right of appeal to affected people who're supportive of right-of-centre ideology”, he wrote.

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