Meta Shuts Down Thousands Of Fake China-Based Facebook Accounts Intended To Influence Voters Ahead Of 2024

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Jason Cohen Contributor
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Facebook’s parent company Meta took down thousands of fake China-based accounts that were designed to influence American voters ahead of the 2024 elections, according to a report published on Thursday.

Meta eliminated nearly 5,000 Facebook profiles in China that pretended to be Americans and posted content related to U.S. politics and relations with China, according to its third quarter “Adversarial Threat Report.” Meta previously disrupted the largest-ever multi-platform influence campaign in August, which included Chinese law enforcement officials spreading positive Chinese propaganda and criticisms of the U.S. (RELATED: Meta Is Allowing Political Ads That Question The 2020 Election — But Censoring Doubts About 2024)

“We removed 4,789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States and posed as Americans across different platforms to post about US politics and US-China relations,” the new report states. “We removed this network before it was able to gain engagement from authentic communities on our apps.”

These inauthentic accounts posted content from both Democratic and Republican users on X, formerly Twitter, for unknown reasons, but one of Meta’s theories is that it was to exacerbate political divisions, according to the report.

“The larger of the two operations we included in this Q3 threat report focused on domestic politics in the United States. Its fake accounts on Facebook copy-pasted posts from American politicians on both sides of the aisle on X (formerly Twitter) – including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Governors Gretchen Whitmer and Kristi Noem, the ‘war room’ of Governor Ron DeSantis, Senators Mark Kelly and Marsha Blackburn, and Representatives Sylvia Garcia, Terri Sewell, Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan. It’s unclear whether this approach was designed to amplify partisan tensions, build audiences among these politicians’ supporters, or to make the fake accounts sharing authentic content appear more genuine.”

China-aligned cyber influence operations have started focusing on particular U.S. political candidates as well as pretending to be American voters with differing political views, according to a report Microsoft published in September.

“Overall, these networks have continued to struggle to build audiences and shift to smaller platforms, but they’re a warning – foreign threat actors are attempting to reach audiences ahead of next year’s various elections, including in the US and Europe, and we need to remain alert to their evolving tactics and targeting across the internet,” Meta’s report reads.

Meta and Facebook did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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