Facebook and Twitter dismantle disinformation networks around the world
Facebook and Twitter dismantle disinformation networks around the world

Facebook and Twitter announced today (Thursday) that they have removed more than a dozen disinformation networks that political and government-backed groups have used in several countries to deceive users on their platforms.

The companies said in two statements: They have identified more than 3,500 accounts and discontinued the use of those accounts because they know that these accounts used false identities and other misleading behaviors to spread false or misleading information.

According to Twitter and Facebook, the target users of the network are wide, including the United States. US officials have warned that foreign governments are trying to influence the outcome of the November presidential election.

After heavy criticism of Facebook and Twitter for failing to halt alleged efforts to influence the 2016 US elections in Russia, we announced in the weeks leading up to the announcement of a series of high-profile cash withdrawals in this year's presidential election.

In many cases, the two social media companies have partnered with US law enforcement agencies to pursue and dismantle political influence campaigns against American voters. These campaigns were mainly attributed to foreign countries, notably Iran and Russia. Tehran and Moscow have repeatedly denied this claim.

The move announced Thursday is affecting a global network outside the United States. Facebook and Twitter said the measures were targeting internet users in at least 16 other countries, from Azerbaijan to Nigeria and Japan.

Twitter said the five suspended networks were linked to groups affiliated with the Iranian, Cuban, Thai and Russian governments.

"Our goal with this information is to continue to develop a full understanding of how government agencies attempt to abuse and undermine open democratic dialogue," the company said in a statement.

Facebook said: 10 networks have been found, some of which have already been exposed. She added that most of these networks are linked to political groups targeting local audiences, including the Burmese army and the youth faction of the ruling Azerbaijan Party.

"This type of fraudulent activity poses complex problems, including the blurring of the line between healthy public debate and manipulation," said Facebook's Director of Cybersecurity Policy (Nathaniel Gleicher).

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