More than 100 fake accounts on Facebook and Instagram are linked to Philippine law enforcement entities, Facebook reported in an online press release.
The news was first reported by a local Philippine media, Philippine Star.
On Wednesday, Facebook’s head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher reported that Facebook removed networks that violated its policies.
Facebook breaks down the numbers into 57 Facebook accounts, 20 Instagram accounts, and 31 pages.
The accounts connect to a network in the Philippines, and focus on Filipino audiences and use English and Filipino.
According to Facebook, the accounts tried to conceal their identity.
However, Facebook found out that they are connected to the Philippine police and military.
Facebook removed the accounts on the grounds of violating its Facebook policy on Foreign or Government Interference (FGI).
FGI is part of a Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour (CIB).
The removed accounts focused on posts related to the country’s politics and government.
Topics include military efforts against terrorism, criticism against its oppositions, youth activists, and the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Moreover, nearly 300,000 accounts followed the removed accounts.
According to Facebook, more than $1,000 are used to advertise these accounts.
Civil society in the Philippines and Rappler, a private news organization, brought the issue with Facebook.
Network from China
Aside from the network found in the Philippines, Facebook also traced another one to Fujian, China.
According to Facebook, the activities originating from China target the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and also the United States.
The accounts’ under China’s network post using three different languages, English, Filipino, and Chinese.
The topics focused on events important to Beijing, like the issue on the South China Sea and Hong Kong said Facebook.
The posts also include content supporting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, his daughter, Sarah Duterte’s Presidential aspiration, and issues important to overseas workers.
It also posted issues that are important to the US, especially on Presidential candidates, Joe Biden and incumbent US President Donald Trump.
What is Inauthentic Behavior?
According to Facebook, what constitutes an inauthentic behavior is not the content of a page or group, but the ones behind them.
Entities, actors, or organizations that use “deceptive behaviors to conceal” their identity “behind a campaign” show inauthentic behavior.
These actors also use their activities to “appear more popular or trustworthy” to evade facebook’s enforcement of its policy on operations.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) is the use of groups of accounts teaming up to deceive people about their identity and motives.
What is Foreign or Government Interference (FGI)?
There are two types of CIB for FGI, Facebook says.
The first one is foreign entities disrupting and manipulating public debate in a country.
The second one is a government operation targeting its citizens.