During August, Facebook deleted three networks of false accounts that worked in Russia, Pakistan, and the U.S., the company said in a statement on September 1.
According to the company, a small network in Russia consisted of 13 accounts and two pages associated with the Kremlin-controlled Internet Research Agency (IRA).
Facebook reports that it began investigating the Russian network for hints about the activities of its members offline, received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The network initially focused on the United States, Britain, Algeria, Egypt, and other English-speaking regions in the Middle East and North Africa.
IRA, also known as the вЂњtroll factory,вЂќ is owned by Evgeny Prigozhin, a representative of Russian President Vladimir Putin's entourage who also directs Russian mercenaries. Two people associated with the вЂњtroll factoryвЂќ were arrested in Libya last year.
The remote network in Pakistan was much larger вЂ” it consisted of 453 accounts, 103 pages, 78 communities, and 107 pages on Instagram. These accounts worked in Pakistan and India. The company does not provide any other details regarding its work.
The network in the U.S. Facebook connects with CLS Strategies, a Washington-based strategic communications firm. It consisted of 55 profiles, 42 pages, and 36 Instagram accounts.
вЂњThis network focused mainly on Venezuela, but also on Mexico and Bolivia. We found this activity as part of a proactive investigation into possible non-authentic behavior in the region,вЂќ says Facebook.
CLS clients include several Latin American governments, including Mexico, as well as Brazil and Peru, which share a border with Bolivia.
According to Facebook, the company has removed about a dozen impact campaigns related to people involved in the IRA since 2017. In total, the social network has deleted more than 100 groups of fairy accounts worldwide during this period.