Today, Facebook has removed about 800 accounts that began in Iran and promoted informal behavior in many other countries around the world.
Facebook has identified a total of 262 pages, 356 accounts, and three groups related to Iran's informal behavior. 162 Instagram accounts have also been identified. Facebook will not confirm that the account was created by the Iranian government. According to Nathaniel Gleicher, Cyber Security Policy Manager at Facebook, no action was found in WhatsApp.
"The people behind this case have misrepresented themselves by coordinating each other and using fake accounts, and that is the basis of our actions."
The Digital Forensic Institute DFR analyzed the account that Facebook verified. According to the DFR, much of the content on this group and page has been engaged in disseminating intimate messages with Iran and amplifying already polarized themes such as the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
According to Facebook, about 2 million accounts followed at least one of Iran's Facebook pages and about 1,600 people joined other groups. Over 254,000 accounts followed the Instagram profile. Both platforms spent less than $ 30,000 on advertising and were paid in US dollars, British pounds, Euros, and Canadian dollars. Facebook did not say how many people reached the ad.
Approximately 30% of these assets have been active for more than five years, and in some cases the Iranian organizations have participated in online impact campaigns since around 2010.
This Iranian account was discovered as part of a large-scale investigation. Last year Iran's other accounts were withdrawn. In October, Facebook removed 82 pages, groups and accounts from people in the United States.
According to Gleicher, many of these new Iranian accounts were discovered after Twitter shared its own data on inaccurate behavior with Facebook. This morning, Twitter sent his report to malicious actors engaged in this action in the US midterm elections. In the report, Twitter said it found a social media business in Iran, Venezuela and Russia.