Meta removes over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts allegedly linked to Malaysian police

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The push is seen as a new way to build the AI-based discovery engine, which Zuckerberg says will further increase business opportunities.

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The push is seen as a new way to build the AI-based discovery engine, which Zuckerberg says will further increase business opportunities.

More than 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts allegedly linked to Malaysian police have been taken down by tech giant Meta, which believes they were part of a “troll farm” used to corrupt or manipulate public discourse.

In its quarterly adverse threats report, the parent company of the two social media platforms said that this network of fake accounts was posting memes in Malay in support of the current coalition government and trying to portray its critics as corrupt, in addition to promote the police. Obligate.

This was in violation of Meta’s policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior”.

“We found this network after reviewing information on a small portion of this activity originally believed to have originated in China by researchers at Clemson University.

“Although the people behind this attempted to conceal their identity and coordination, our investigation found links to the Royal Malaysian Police,” Meta said in the report released on Thursday (August 4, 2022).

“Typically, their posting activity ramped up during weekdays, taking breaks for lunch. Their fake accounts were quite underdeveloped and some of them were using stolen profile pictures. between them have been detected and disabled by our automated systems,” he added.

According to Meta, many of the fake accounts allegedly spent up to US$6,000 (S$8,270) on ads on Facebook and Instagram, which were paid primarily in Malaysian ringgit.

To date, a total of 596 Facebook accounts, 180 Pages, 11 Groups and 72 Instagram accounts have been deleted in connection with the case.

“About 427,000 accounts have followed one or more of these pages, about 4,000 accounts have joined one or more of these groups, and about 15,000 accounts have followed one or more of these Instagram accounts,” Meta said.

Malaysian police have yet to respond to the allegation.

Democratic Action Party Social Media Office chairman Syahredzan Johan said the findings showed how the government was funding trolls and cybertroopers with public funds and resources for its own interests.

“It is no exaggeration to conclude that apart from these accounts and pages, there are other accounts and pages, on various social media platforms, which also carry out similar activities.

“Public resources, including bodies that should serve all Malaysians, should not be used for political purposes like this,” he said in a statement on Friday.

This is not the first time that the police have been involved in a scandal.

Just before retiring last year, former police chief Abdul Hamid Bador revealed there was a ‘cartel’ within the force working to overthrow him so he could carry out ‘dirty things’. work” for his personal benefit.

This was later denied by Interior Minister Hamzah Zainudin, who said the claim was unprecedented.

Besides a “troll farm” in Malaysia, Meta also took down two other networks engaged in similar operations – a network linked to a PR firm in Israel and another troll farm in Russia targeting global discourse on the war in Ukraine.

(Copyright: The Straits Times/ANN)

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