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Facebook says took down 103 pages, groups linked to ‘employees of ISPR’ engaged in ‘organised inauthentic behavior’

CALIFORNIA: Facebook has taken down 712 accounts and 390 pages in India and Pakistan because of ‘inauthentic behaviour’ and spamming

The company shared the details of “four separate, distinct and unconnected” takedowns linked to both Pakistan and India. It said that it had removed the pages, accounts and groups set up by the networks “for violating Facebook’s policies on coordinated inauthentic behaviour or spam”.

It said that the company removed 103 pages, groups and accounts on both Facebook and Instagram as part of a network that originated in Pakistan.

It seemed the action was somehow triggered by India as some of the pages removed by the Facebook were engaged in highlighting Kashmiris struggle and India’s atrocities in the Occupied Valley.

“Today we removed 103 pages, groups and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour on Facebook and Instagram as part of a network that originated in Pakistan,” said a statement issued by Nathaniel Gleicher, the company’s head of Cybersecurity Policy, on the investigation.

“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found that it was linked to employees of the ISPR of the Pakistani military,” said the statement.

Facebook said that these pages, groups and accounts represent themselves as independent but in fact, are part of a coordinated operation.”

He added that Facebook could not say whether the activity was directed by the organisation or the employees were acting on their own.

“There were multiple employees engaged in this,” he said, adding that Facebook is “highly confident” of the identity of the people involved.

Gleicher clarified that Facebook was removing accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted.

The investigation found that the network in Pakistan was spread across 24 pages on Facebook and Instagram, 57 Facebook accounts, seven Facebook groups, and 15 Instagram accounts.

“The individuals behind this activity used fake accounts to operate military fan pages; general Pakistani interest pages; Kashmir community pages; and hobby and news pages. They also frequently posted about local and political news including topics like the Indian government, political leaders, and military,” the statement said, sharing the following details: