Facebook, Twitter and Others Remove Pro-U.S. Influence Campaign

The Facebook, Twitter and Others Remove Pro-U.S. Influence Campaign , It was the first time that an influence operation promoting U.S. interests abroad had been discovered and taken down from the social media platforms.

Facebook, Twitter and Others Remove Pro-U.S. Influence Campaign

Pro-U.S. Influence Campaign, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter have removed an influence operation from their networks that promoted U.S. foreign policy interests abroad, according to a report on Wednesday by researchers from the Stanford Internet Observatory and the research company Graphika. It was the first time that an influence campaign pushing U.S. interests abroad had been discovered and taken down from the social media platforms. The operation, which ran for almost five years on eight social networks and messaging apps, promoted the views, values and goals of the United States while attacking the interests of Russia, China, Iran and other countries, the researchers found. The accounts behind the operation often posed as news outlets or took on the personas of people who didn’t exist, posting content in at least seven languages, including Russian, Arabic and Urdu. The posts criticized countries like Russia for engaging in “imperialist wars” in Syria and Africa, while praising American aid efforts in Central Asia and Iraq.

Pro-U.S. Influence Campaign, Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, said the “country of origin” of the accounts was the United States, while Twitter said the “presumptive countries of origin” for the accounts were the United States and Britain, according to the report. “It’s the first time we’ve seen something like this,” said Renée DiResta, research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory. “It’s the first time we’ve seen a pro-U.S. foreign influence operation taken down by Twitter and Meta.” Until Wednesday, influence operations backed by nation-states on social networks like Facebook and Twitter have been attributed mainly to Russia, China, Iran and other foreign adversaries of the United States. Russia pioneered many of these online disinformation tactics, using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to spread divisive messaging among American voters in the 2016 presidential election. China has also used Facebook and Twitter to burnish its image and to undercut accusations of human rights abuses. Researchers have long suspected that influence operations promoting U.S. interests abroad have been active, though no specific efforts had previously been documented and studied.

Pro-U.S. Influence Campaign, The U.S. government does not comment on covert programs. Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said the agency “will look into and assess any information that Facebook or Twitter provides.”Twitter and Meta, which do not permit accounts that covertly work together to promote certain narratives, removed the accounts in July and August, according to the report. The other platforms that were used in the operation were Telegram, Google’s YouTube, and the Russian social media networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. Twitter said it had no comment on the Stanford and Graphika report. Meta did not respond to requests for comment. While the companies have regularly revealed influence operations they remove from their platforms, they have not published a report on the pro-U.S. campaign. The only U.S. operations that Meta has previously named were domestic efforts, such as when the company revealed in October 2020 that a marketing firm, Rally Forge, was working with the conservative organization Turning Point USA to target Americans. In an email, YouTube said it had terminated several channels posting in Arabic, Farsi and Russian to promote U.S. foreign affairs, including channels linked to a U.S. consulting firm, as part of an investigation into coordinated influence operations

Source: This news is originally published by nytimes