Facebook deleted 17 networks for coordinated inauthentic behavior in December 2020

Coordinated inauthentic behavior Facebook occupied Facebook in December 2020, with the social network removing 17 networks, setting a new monthly high.

The social network said in a newsroom article that it deleted a total of 1,957 Facebook accounts, 707 Instagram accounts, 156 pages and 727 groups.

Facebook said at least 12 of the accounts targeted audiences in their own country, while at least five focused on people outside of their country.

At least 12 of the networks were also focused on elections, mainly but not exclusively on behalf of national actors.

At least seven of the networks Facebook deleted last month ran pages that masqueraded as news entities sharing local updates on current events.

At least 10 of the 17 networks in the December 2020 report were discovered through collaborations with researchers, investigative journalists and local civil society organizations.

Finally, Facebook said that the “vast majority” of networks deleted in December were detected early in their audience building.

A full report is available here, and details on each of the 17 networks follow:

  • Iran: Four accounts targeting mainly Arabic-speaking, English-speaking and French-speaking audiences around the world, focused on off-platform typo-squatting areas.
  • Morocco: 255 accounts, 93 pages, 17 groups and 60 Instagram accounts targeting Morocco and Algeria.
  • Ukraine: 23 accounts, 25 pages, 11 groups and 19 Instagram accounts from the Luhansk region in Ukraine and targeting Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Spain, UK and Ukraine.
  • Ukraine: 13 country-focused accounts, 31 pages, six groups and three Instagram accounts linked to people associated with an Anti-Corruption nongovernmental organization Blockpost.
  • Ukraine: 27 accounts, 37 pages, 21 groups and 13 Instagram accounts focused on national audiences.
  • Kyrgyzstan: 193 accounts, 246 pages, 50 groups and 30 Instagram accounts targeting a national audience.
  • Kyrgyzstan: 92 accounts, four pages, 11 groups and 30 Instagram accounts, focused on the country and commenting on their content and on political party posts and specific news pages.
  • Kyrgyzstan: 121 accounts, 46 pages, seven groups and 41 Instagram accounts targeting a national audience.
  • Kyrgyzstan: 31 accounts, one group and 28 Instagram accounts focused on national audiences.
  • Argentina: 663 accounts and 388 Instagram accounts focused on the domestic audience, mostly inauthentically amplifying posts and press articles linked to Sergio Berni, Buenos Aires’ security minister.
  • Brazil: 25 accounts, three pages and 10 Instagram accounts targeting two municipalities in Paraná, Almirante Tamandaré and Colombo.
  • Brazil: 34 accounts and 18 Instagram accounts focused on three municipalities in the state of Espiríto Santo: Serra, Vitória and Cariacica.
  • Pakistan: 27 accounts, seven pages and 23 Instagram accounts targeting a national audience.
  • Indonesia: 107 accounts, 58 pages and 34 Instagram accounts focused on national audiences.
  • France: 84 accounts, six pages, nine groups and 14 Instagram accounts mainly targeting the Central African Republic and Mali and, to a lesser extent, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and Niger (Previously reported).
  • Russia: 61 accounts, 29 pages, seven groups and one Instagram account mainly targeting the Central African Republic and, to a lesser extent, Cameroon, the Central African diaspora in France, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa (Previously reported).
  • Russia: 197 accounts, 122 pages, 16 groups and 15 Instagram accounts focused mainly on Libya, Sudan and Syria (Previously reported).

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